Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Done!!!!

Here's my latest creation -- it's a modification of the Refined Raglan from the Winter IK. I added the cable detail on the cuffs and bottom, instead of hemming. (Let's face it -- at my age, who needs extra bulk in the hip area?)

Here's a close up of the raglan cable:

Yarn: 50/50 wool and alpaca from Ellen's Half Pint Farm from Vermont.

Gauge: 4 stitches to the inch, on size 9 KnitPicks Options, which I love.

Size: 38" finished chest, unblocked (okay, I'm lazy)

What I'd do differently: (and may yet) the neck. The yarn has a wonderful drape, but seems loose around the neck. I might rip back and do more decreases, but I'm not sure. My office pals all say it looks fine (I'm wearing it today, though it's unseasonably mild outside), but I'm still not sure.

What I love about this sweater: Raglans and I get along really well. I adore not having to sew seams, I love the colors -- even though I alternated skeins and got pooling -- and the yarn is so soft I can't stand it.

Comments on the neck would be appreciated!

Other items on the needles (and couch, and bedside table, and desk) are:

1. EZ yoke sweater, knit at 3 sts to the inch from Lamb's Pride Bulky that has been hiding in the stash for quite a while. I bought enough to knit the ridged pullover in Loop -d- Loop, and after I started it realized the ridges made me look like an oddly shaped lego. So I'm trying the Zimmermann percentage system and going off on my own. Don't tell my sister, but the sweater is for her.

2. The never-ending Linus Project blanket.

3. Swallowtail Shawl. Stalled. Big-time. I really need a keen mind to concentrate when knitting this and just don't have it lately.

4. Mittens in progress for a friend.

5. and ... Xmas gifts that I can't lest for fear that certain offspring of mine will be reading this!

Let's see, only 25 more knitting days until Christmas! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, YIPE!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How to throw a 90th Birthday Party

... or, my cousin really knows how to do it up right.

1. Find a 90 year old. Not just any 90 year old, but one who wears a red cowboy hat and loves to have fun.

(Sorry, this one's taken!)

2. Decorate the place with red and purple balloons, tablecloths, party favors, candy kisses and cake, then invite 120 people.

3. Hire a DeeJay. Not just any DeeJay, but an 82 year old kick-ass DeeJay, who, at one point during the festivities brought out an American Flag and waved it while playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic." No lie.

4. Bring out the Elvis impersonator. Okay, so there wasn't any fringe, but my aunt loved it.

5. Make a "Top Ten Reasons Why I Want to Be Like my Aunt Alice When I Grow Up" List, to read with your sister.

Example: Because she's so cute, men still flirt with her. And, she eats hot fudge sundaes for dinner and no one yells at her.

6. Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate.

Aunt Alice had a wonderful time, as did everyone there. I can't wait to post photos from her 100th.

ps Aunt Alice is responsible for teaching me how to knit -- and is still making lap robes for nursing home patients and caps for kids. Gotta love her.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What I've been up to ...

or ... the good, the bad and the ugly. You choose!

This is good. It's a hat for charity -- the colors look a little garish, but it works. Note the cool curly-ques on top -- the colors are orange, lime green and turquoise, all in Lamb's Pride. I used size 8s, and cast on 72 stitches, did k2 p2 rib for 2 inches, then increased to 84 stitches. I started decreasing when the whole thing measured about 5 inches, then did a k10, ssk round, decreasing 1 st every alternate round until the end. Voila! Crazy kid hat.

It's a charity project, and will be going to the Open Door Mission for the homeless in Rochester as part of a Christmas package.

And ... more good.

I've been working valiantly on my first "outside of the lines" sweater project. I started out doing a basic raglan, using the Elizabeth Zimmermann proportions (with a provisional cast-on because I was unsure what kind of edging I wanted), then saw the Winter 2006 IK and the Refined Raglan. So I quickly adoped the Lace and Cable pattern, even though my stitch count was a little off.
As you can see, the edging is in Lace and Cable (different from IK), and I'm loving it. I'm also going to do a higher neckline, more of a mock turtle, when I get there.

The yarn is 50/50 wool and alpaca, from Ellen's Half Pint Farm in Vermont. This was my indulgence at the Hemlock Fiber Festival and I absolutely love the way the yarn feels and drapes. I know, I know -- pooling. But I did alternate skeins, and I just don't care. I think it looks neat no matter what! And I can't wait to wear it. ETA finishing by Thursday (I hope)!

And more good ...
See the cool pen I ordered from Twig's website? It's and I love it. I'm a fountain pen freak, and this is a lovely tulip wood. Feels great in my hands and the colors in the grain are wonderful. Go Twig! (but not her team -- those dreaded Rangers).

And the bad and the ugly are all in one -- remember the case I posted about last time? The one where I thought I might be thrown in jail for contempt? Well, it was damned close. The pseudo-Judge would not let me out of the case, moved forward with the trial, wouldn't let my client present her proof, sustained every objection of opposing counsel, denied every one of my objections, and when I said his actions were certainly issues for appeal, said "Go ahead. The Appellate Division can use the work."

I almost lost it. I'm still reeling.

And that has led to a real depression in my outlook, work-wise. Maybe having a few days off will help, but I'm just feeling like I'm going through the motions. It's a struggle to get up, get dressed and go to the office. I wish I were independently wealthy. Then, I'd limit my practice to Law Guardian work and screw the rest.

Enough venting -- more knitting!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What I Am Today ...

A Giant Crab.

... and why. No, knot knarly knitting. A trial. The very same trial I vented about earlier, the one where the client moved, didn't pay me, I made an application to withdraw, which was denied ....

I've given it lots of thought, and I'm just going to let both the other lawyer and the Court have it. It's easy for the Court Attorney Referee to sit there, paid by the state, health insurance, retirement, no overhead, and keep me in a case without being paid ... but if I were going to work for nothing, it would be a pro bono case of my own choosing. Which I do. But being held hostage by the Court and this other attorney? ARghhhh.

I'll let you know if I'll need bail money for the contempt charge. Can you knit in jail? It might be a good thing .... think of all those projects I can finish!

Oh -- Wal-Mart update. PTM (Pony-Tail Man) broke down and went -- not at 3 am, but early in the morning. He just couldn't resist. But he did limit his purchases to hunting paraphenalia (I was envisioning a panel truck pulling up with cases of deoderant soap and cans of tuna). So I do hear all of you who like to shop at night, and like the discounts. And I find it difficult to pass by a bargain ... maybe I just find all mine on the internet!

Knitting photos and posts tomorrow -- unless I'm behind bars...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Line in the Sand

I have drawn it. And it's not about knitting.

Yesterday, a Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in town. New. Built right next to the old regular Wal-Mart. Which is now a vacant warehouse-sized building.

Granted, I did go to the old Wal-Mart on occasion, usually when I needed cat food, cat litter and giant bags of dog food. Pony-tail man, however, loves Wal-Mart. Even though I point out on a regular basis that he goes for one or two items, and then comes home with many, many bags of things he didn't know he "needed" until he saw them at such cheap prices.

Enter, the Supercenter. Open 24/7. 24/7 -- I'll say it again. I'm going to scream, I can tell. What in the world can anyone NEED SO BADLY THEY HAVE TO GO TO WAL-MART AT 3 AM? And what about the people who have to work those ungodly hours? And the pittance that workers in Third World countries get paid to make the pseudo-silk flowers, cheap turtleneck sweaters and general "stuff"? And the obscenely rich owners?????

So, I hereby vow not to step foot in this new abomination. Ever. Not at noon, not at 4:00 p.m. and most definitely not at midnight.

The cats can catch mice until morning.

Sorry -- my medication is wearing off .... :)
Oh, and that reminds me -- who gave Wal-Mart the right to steal the yellow happy face for its ads? It's just not right, not right at all.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead ...

... by witch, I mean Rumsfeld. Usually, I don't mix politics and knitting (those sharp instruments in the hands of, say, a rabid Democrat such as myself, may be dangerous -- although, some of my best friends are elephants), but I am so happy that scary man has stepped down.

I grew up in the Vietnam era and faced both brothers going off to war, my husband is also a Vietnam vet, and I just can't support a similar war. We'll never win. Never. And I don't want anymore lives to be lost.

Enough said, for that unpaid political announcement.

Here we have --- something warm! These are loosely based on the armwarmers in "Holiday Knitting" (someday I'll be able to figure out how to place a link in my posts), except I knit an actually thumb, instead of just an opening. It's a spiral rib pattern which looks even better in person, and Paton's SWS yarn -- 80% wool, 20% soy. So, for all of us vegetarians, if we get lost in a snow drift, we can always eat our mittens!

Size 6 needles; 32 stitches. Warm as toasted tofu!

The colors are much prettier than shown here -- more pinks and muted greens/browns. I still have at least 1/3 of a skein left, and will be making more as Xmas gifts.

And as for the folks at the White House, who's next?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nerds R Us

I confess -- I love office supply stores. I can spend almost as much time browsing the aisles of pens, pencils, notebooks ... as I can in a bookstore. (Never a yarn store -- browsing in my LYS is like encountering a hole in the space-time continuum -- just ask the man).

And family owned, small town office supply stores are like heaven. So, every time I find myself in Yates County, at the courthouse in Penn Yan, NY, I must go to Long's Office Supply Store. You should see their selection of jigsaw puzzles! Crosswords, too! But I digress. Here is what I found today:
Yes, it looks like a pencil pouch. A pencil pouch that stands up on your desk.

But ... what's that peeking out the sides?

Double pointed knitting needles!!!!

And more:

See my little scissors? My yarn needle holder?

I'm in love, and all for only $2.49.

I may go back for more.

In other knitting news, here are two hats -- one for the chemo cap project of my monthly library knitting group, and the other knit from Lamb's Pride scraps for the VA Xmas project. The man says that he should have the green one, because he's a veteran too, but I told him forget it. (He didn't really mean it, but now I know he likes the style).

Okay -- I've tried to post those photos twice, so either this entry will be empty of hats, or have 4. Talk about space-time ...

It's Election Day tomorrow, so that means no court. Hurray. But it also means I have no choice but to plunge into all the paperwork that's on my desk. You know, the dog files that just sit and wait, patiently, ready to bite your hand when you pick them up?


Friday, November 03, 2006

It's not a mistake ...

it's a hat!!! Below you'll find the ultimate in making lemonade from lemons -- last year I started a scarf knit from Lamb's Pride Bulky. Tried the triangle-modular thing (I'd done a solid color one for TwinB last Christmas), but hated how this looked. Shoved it in a drawer, tried not to think about it.

So last night, as I was rummaging for yarn to knit a charity hat, I saw the scarf. Hmmmm, I thought. What if I sewed the ends together, picked up stitches and made it into a hat? So I did!

It's even cute on, warm as the Sabres' dressing room, and will be donated to our Bar Association's charity drive for Xmas -- hats, scarves, etc. for patients at the VA Hospital (men and women).

I had a good day yesterday -- actually took the afternoon off, got a haircut, spent some time with TwinA. Who is studying and working waaay too hard and needs to eat more and take care of herself (are you listening, Andy?) 2 more weeks until the quarter ends, then hopefully some down time with Mom at home.

Here are the flowers the camoflague hat caused:

Lovely, eh? (forgive me, I grew up essentially across the street from our friendly neighbors to the north -- Canada)

Now, I didn't notice until I took the photo, what the card actually says: Love, Como Man.

As in Perry Como? I thought he was dead!

It reminds me of a few summers ago when my oldest wanted to invite her friends to a vegetarian cook-out -- grilled veggies, salads ... We went to the local supermarket for a cake, and she told the bakery clerk to write "Meat is Murder" on it. I know, a little extreme, but funny.

Funnier still was what was on the cake when we picked it up. Of course, this was a weekend, and the bakery was staffed by a guy in his early 20's who appeared ok, but was in reality a few yards short of a skein. The cake read: "Meats is Murder". Meats!!! It's now become part of the family laughography!

So back to the title of this post -- it's not a mistake, but when they do happen, they can be damned funny.

over and out ...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Elmer Fudd has mittens!

Isn't this funny? The spouse loves them. It's camo yarn (Paton's Merino), and I pattern I found in one of my mother's old books from the forties. Trigger Finger Mittens. I used size 3, KnitPicks dps (which I love) for a tighter gauge -- it gits cold in dem dere woods! I was also thinking, couldn't Mr. Spock use a pair? In Science Officer blue, with black trim, of course.

And here's the progress on the hand-dyed self-creation. This is a sleeve, and the yellow is a provisional cast on because I can't decide if I want ribbing or something different.

I'm worried the sleeve is going to be too baggy -- but I always worry -- and if it were smaller, I'd worry it was too tight. I love the softness of the wool/alpaca blend, and can't wait to be wearing this, because snow is in the forecast.

Off to Court -- to fight for truth, justice and the American Divorce!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nasty November

Almost everyone I know is sick -- my partner in the law practice, my secretary, TwinB ... and people are hacking and spewing all over Family Court. Other than encasing myself in plastic, I'm wondering what I can do to prevent what Marvelous Marlene (my sect'y) calls "the creeping crud." My hands are so dry from repeated washing that the skin is about to flake off.

And flake is the operative word -- meant to take photos of the camo yarn mittens today, but forgot the camera. So words will have to suffice ...

I'm trying to perservere and finish projects before seriously planning others -- but I find myself leafing through magazines and books, planning what's coming next -- and not really paying attention to what I'm doing. Exhibit A -- the sweater being knit from the lovely hand dyed yarn. I love the colors, love the feel of the wool/alpaca, but get distracted and voila -- find that I've cast on the wrong number of stitches for the sleeve, 10 less than needed, and don't notice until half way up the arm.
In the words of that wascally wabbit, what a maroon!

But seriously, I wonder if that's typical of how most of society is now behaving, myself included. I am always multi-tasking -- watching tv, and knitting; knitting and reading; blogging and talking on the phone; eating and reading. My DH sits on the couch, watching tv (okay, we love Law & Order a little too much), with the laptop on, surfing, watching, talking on the phone.

So maybe, just maybe, I should (gasp) do one thing at a time.

Think it'll work? Think it'll catch on?