Sunday, September 30, 2007

Top Ten Reasons ...

I have been absent from blogdom:

10. Work, work and more work.
9. See above.
8. Moving. One of Jack's friends asked to rent our converted barn, so we decided to move full-time into the new place. So, my previous thinking that I had oodles of time to pack and move at a leisurely pace was suddenly gone. The good news -- I found yarn I'd thought I'd lost! The bad -- I really need to stop buying yarn. Really. Will I? Nah.
7. Family stuff -- better now.
6. A semi-serious case of knitting slump. In spite of the embarassment of riches found during the move, I have gone through a few weeks of being less than enthusiastic about any project. I'm starting to move on, though, forcing myself to pick up the needles, as well as do other things I enjoy but have let go. Why is it when we're in a slump, the we stop doing things that make us feel good? So, here's what I will be starting: Lady of the Lake, in a warm rust color. That should get my knitting mojo flowing.
5. In-law visit. Think of the most stereotypical portrayl of a little old Southern lady, and that's my MIL, Frances. 87 years old, making biscuits in my kitchen. Threatening to make something called "sausage gravy". And freezing in the cold (72-74) temperatures.
4. A severely sprained ankle. Damn I never knew those could hurt so much or take so long to heal! I'm still going to physical therapy, and frustrated at the lack of progress.
3. It's hard to blog when you're sleeping.
2. It's hard to think of 10 reasons why you haven't blogged.
1. I was kidnapped by aliens who wanted to learn to knit. (okay, see #2)

Rest assured, I have still been reading pals' blogs, and hope you all are still with me. Hockey season starts in LESS THAN A WEEK, and I'm scooting over to the knitalong to stir up some trouble.

I'll post a progress photo of "Lady" tomorrow, promise!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Still moving ....

It's gonna take forever. And now that we have a house big enough for me to have my "own" room (call me Virginia Woolf), I'm faced with the blessed dilemma of yarn storage issues.

Bookcases? Shelves? Wicker baskets?

Funds are an issue, so I'll welcome any suggestions for cheap and easy ideas. Hmmm. Cheap and easy .... if only Paris Hilton had a line of furniture!

Knitting has been slow -- too much legal work. I am making myself stay away from the office this long weekend, though. My very sanity hangs in the balance. Or at least that's what I'm telling the spouse.

One more moving update -- the Siamese is becoming even more co-dependent. I swear, she needs a 12 Step Group. Ever since the big move, she is attached to me like velcro. As I type, she is attempting to get on the keyboard. She won't leave the deck off the kitchen, and crouches, turning her head back and forth like she's at Wimbledon, looking for .. for ... what? Arghh. I hope this is just a phase.

*** message from Miss KItty ***
she has GOT to be kidding. uproot me from my known environment, move me out farther into the country. there are FROGS here. a cat of my stature should be on Park Avenue. on a velvet cushion. not in the sticks where a girl gets her paws dirty just stepping outside. quick -- send Fancy Feast!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation ...

.... or why I've not been blogging!

When last we heard from the recently-50 year old knitter, she was about to embark on a journey to Cape Cod. Never having been to "The Cape", she was eagerly anticipating a relaxing week of sun and sand.
Here we see her celebrating two of Massachusett's treasures: Beer and Red Sox.
Lest you think the vacation was all frivolity, witness this hidden benefit of old age:
Who knew it was the 50 year anniversary of the replica of the Mayflower? And who knew us old folk would get in free! (Not that I saved a ton, just enough for a Sam after the tour, but hey ...)*I saw Pilgrims:
And chickens: And this guy! Not to be confused with this guy (Captain on the pleasure boat):

I must say, it's not so bad being 50 after all.

As this is a knitting blog, here's what I've been working on:
It's this pattern:

(sorry, forgot to turn it around!) I bought it at Adirondack Yarns in Lake Placid this February. It has cool green glass square buttons and is knitting up fairly quickly on size 11s. Believe me, I need instant gratification -- it's been so hot here, and for every day of vacation, it seems like TWO days of work piled up on my desk. I'm just now surfacing.
* Plimouth (yes it has an "i" not a "y" -- again, who knew????) is staffed by actors and actresses who stay in character if you talk to them. I asked, of course, about knitting and they told me -- gasp -- that knitting was for the lower classes, the poor and orphans! That they sent for their stockings from London, and they were too busy doing more important things than knit. How's that for Pilgrim's Progress?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's My Birthday ...

Okay, it was yesterday. 5-0. Today is, in the hobbit tradition, Second Birthday. I looked for an image on line of an old lady knitting, but liked this one better. *sigh*
The AARP invite is on my desk. No red hats though. How did this happen? *double sigh*
Yesterday, however, was a great day. The kids and I went to Ithaca, and even the boy went here with me, and we had dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant, a mecca for all vegetarians. And today, my lawyer pals suprised me at lunch, and hubby is taking me out for dinner. Not bad for a budding senior citizen!
Tomorrow, I'm off to Cape Cod for a few days, trying not to think about work. I'll be back on Monday, hopefully with photos not only of the vacation, but of the almost finished sweater I'm doing for oldest daughter.
... hobbling off ...

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Perils of Moving

Here it is so far .......

3 suitcases. Full of yarn. And it's only the beginning.

The moral: You can't be in stash denial when you move. Face to face with with my own obsession.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A New Application for EZ's philosophy ... and more

So until recently, as in maybe last year, I was the type of knitter who followed every pattern exactly and never ever wavered. Oh maybe regarding the choice of yarn, but not the way the sweater/garment was put together, or even any of the design elements. Then, I discovered the magic that is Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Boy did I feel cheated! Here I'd been knitting off and on since the age of 8 (more about age later), and hadn't evolved past the printed pattern instructions! I was a mere sheep among knitters, a knitting automaton, a drone with needles.

EZ changed all that for me, and I've tinkered, altered, and even designed my own! Remember Big Blue?

Then the other day it occurred to me -- why can't I do the same thing in other areas of my life? Not a risk taker by nature (Oh really? I can hear my sister say? My sister, otherwise known as the "Slot Machine Slut" by yours truly ...), I decided to apply EZ's plunge ahead-trust your instincts-be bold to ... cooking!

Faced with the never-ending question of what to have, I looked around the kitchen and saw: 1 bag of small red potatoes; 1 head of broccoli; and 1 Vidalia onion. In the refrigerator, I spied a good-sized chunk of sharp cheddar cheese and a stick of butter. Hmmmm. Applying EZ's EPS system (or a variation thereto), I determined that all of those ingredients went well together, so I ... boiled the potatoes, with skins on. Chopped them into chunks, and mixed in half a stick of butter and the chopped onion. Spread in a baking pan, topped with lightly steamed broccoli and grated cheese. Baked for 40 minutes. Hurray! (Sometimes, it's the small things...)

Do I have a photo? No. Do I even know where my camera is since we're in the process of moving between houses? No. Did I have to go to Target and buy new underwear because (a) I couldn't find a clean pair; and (b) No time to do laundry? Yes!

To top it all off, I'm turning 50 next week. The AARP invite came in the mail yesterday. How did those bastards find out? I'm torn between ripping it to shreds and glomming on to the discounts. *sigh*

And finally, thanks to all who sent concerns and good wishes regarding my family situation. Suffice it to say, I have a brother who has made some really unfortunate choices with devastating results. It's knocked me for a loop, and knocked me off my knitting mojo too. Funny, usually knitting is soothing, but when something like this happens, it's hard to even get through some days. But I'm back in the saddle, and working on a new project for Elizabeth, my oldest daughter, for her birthday.

Which, to tie this entry up into a neat package, is also tomorrow. Which also happens to be the birthday of .... EZ herself!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Family Emergency

Just wanted to let you all know I'm out of town and in the midst of an emergency involving one of my siblings. Things are going as best as can be expected, and I'll be in touch later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finally Fotos!

Here it is! The first official postings of the new digs. Jack's daughter bought us this sign for Christmas last year, and little did we know it would hang over this place. Cool, huh?
And here is the pond.
You can swim in it! It has a liner and filtration system. Lots of frogs on the edges and boy do they make a lot of noise at night. Nice, though.

And the plants are just amazing. This is right on the deck.
We had our first guests, too -- a nice twenty-ish couple from Ithaca and it worked out really well. Jack is in the process of changing the name of the website, or linking it or somesuch nonsense -- from to Wanderlust Way, but he's losing what remains of his hair trying to figure it out. It seems like he's on the phone constantly with someone in some foreign country, but I'm sure it will eventually work out.
Needless to say, I'm running around like a rabbit trying to move things, get organized, clean ... you name it. Oh, yes. And practice law.
Knitting may be my only path to sanity right now. I made this in a day:
My first felted attempt.

And I'm working on a shawl with the SeaWool. The colors are a nice blend of blues and I love it.
And speaking of BLUE !!!! At long last, here she is.
I love this sweater. Of course, it's been in the nineties lately, so I haven't been wearing her. I'm tempted to turn up the office air conditioner to freezing just so I can put it on!

Well, I hope to get my life back to "normal" soon, or at least a new routine. Wait, what's that? The phone? The bird flu guy? argh......................

Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday

Still no photos. I have the cord, but the camera is ????? This is what happens when you move. We closed on the new place on Friday, and it was the closing from hell. First, the bank got the papers wrong. Had to re-fax, re-sign. Second, I violated one of the key rules of the Universe: Never buy a house from a crazy person. Seriously. There were no mortgage pay-off statements, and they didn't actually leave the property until quarter after midnight. I was insane. And it was a mess. Total, absolute, f8*&()&g mess.

I won't bore anyone with the details, but suffice it to say every cleaning muscle in my body is sore. And I have done absolutely no knitting. And I really need to!!!

So I haven't dropped off the blog-planet, and as soon as I find my camera, which has pictoures of Big Blue and the new place, they'll be posted.

In the meantime, send virtual beer.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Miserable Monday

Why today sucks:

1. I left my camera at home and can't show a photo of Big Blue, finished in the nick of time, by my self-imposed "finish it within 2 months of starting" deadline.
2. I have bug bites all over my legs that make me scratch until I bleed.
3. Every crazy Respondent in the County has me as their law guardian. Just ask me about the guy with the secret "bird flu" shelter in his house. Go on, I dare ya.
4. My real estate closing is set for Friday but the bank "forgot" so my mortgage rate would have expired but for my frantic phone calls all morning.
5. I'm another day closer to the big 5-0 and feeling every hormonal inch of it.
6. I also have a bug bite inside my ear.
7. My favorite Sabre was traded to Twig's team. And Briere is gone too, to those Philly Goons. Where's my Stanley Cup?

... enough whining for now. Photo tomorrow. I promise. And I love it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm the Wicked Witch of the West

I'M MELTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

... and its too hot to knit. I hate global warming.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Walking the Plank

That's me at the end, about to jump. It's been a hellish week, and there's more on the horizon. Custody hearings galore, struggling with the real estate closing (don't let anyone ever tell you that real estate law is "easier" or "less stressful" than family court), sweltering in the heat, feeling my age ....

So very little knitting has occurred. I am on the home stretch -- about two inches from the wrist -- of Big Blue, and if I finish it by the end of this week, it will have taken 2 months from start to finish. Not too bad, considering. And just in time for July -- when everyone needs a sweater!

The Rider's Rest closing may take place as earlier as this Friday. I can't wait to explore the place more thoroughly. We've already got some bookings for July and August, so I'm cautiously optimistic that being Innkeepers may work out well for us. Can't quite give up the law job, though ...

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print! Back to the courthouse ....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rootin' Tootin' Toots!

I first saw Toots and the Maytals over 25 years ago when I was in college. And he was fantastic -- bopping all over the stage, jumping, singing ... and I couldn't keep still. I can't keep still now either, but damn -- Toots is still amazing! He's 62, biceps to die for, and still has that funky reggae down.

Toots was at the Rochester International Jazz Festival last night at a free outdoor concert. So I figured, I'll go. I'll take the 16 year old son. It will be fun, I think.

Arghhhh! Wall to wall (if you can say that about an outdoor concert) (maybe tree to tree) people. Couldn't move. Couldn't see. And you know what? 25 years ago I wouldn't have cared! Instead, I inched slowly to the edge of the crowd so I could breathe. That, coupled with the mental energy directed my way by the boy (I could feel it like a hot breeze on the back of my neck --"Oh God. I hope my mother doesn't start dancing."), led to the realization that my concert-going days may be over.


Friday, June 15, 2007

The Perils of Knitting at Work

Well, I finished the Fixation socks, and am happily wearing them on my bug-bitten feet today. There is, however, a down side.

I've been knitting them at lunch. No, it's not that I dribbled ketchup from my fries on the yarn, or dipped it in my soup. It's how wonderful they are.


Turquoise Fixation. Purchased as a result of a grown woman, a professional woman, President of the local bar association! Whining. Begging. Pleading for me to make her a pair of socks right away, before she goes on vacation to Cape Cod.

Well, don't tell anyone else, but I'm easy. And she is my law partner. And I'm secretly flattered that my knitting is coveted (is that a sin? "Thou shall not covet thy partner's knitting?" Did Moses knit? Do angels knit? All I can say is that there better be knitting in heaven or I'm not going. Not that I'm certain to be invited ....).

So that's my new portable project, as I still struggle with sleeve #2 on Big Blue. I have serious plans to plop myself in a chair on the deck this weekend and knit like a maniac.

In other news, the mortgage came through, so it looks like we're going to be Innkeepers. Check out for our big risk opportunity. I've been calling Jack "Bob Newhart", but he says that means we'll have to have Larry, Larry and Darryl, so I'm not too sure about that! Anyway, I'm both excited and scared. But it will definitely be an adventure, and as long as I can knit, it'll be okay!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Field Trip!

Here are six intrepid members of our kntting group, feasting on goodies and frozen margaritas after a trip through scenic NY for a visit to Finger Lakes Fibers, a wonderful yarn store in Watkins Glen.

Margaret, knitting the purple vest, (also known as "Roboknitter" for her speed) won the prize for most purchases. A confessed sockaholic, she scored an amazing amount of yarn, and as a result, got the first drink! Beth (front left) is going to add to her felted bag collection, and Peggy (front right) will be branching out from scarves to a shawl! The rest of us got an assortment of goodies, including some local Schaefer yarns. I did indulge in one of these in HOT PINK! Perfect for socks. A good time was had by all, and I can't wait to do it again.

I'm down to sleeve #2 on Big Blue, and she's too unwieldy to carry around. So it's relegated to the couch, when I'm feeling my Irish roots and acting like a potato.

Okay, so the answer to "What is it?" is this: A travel chopstick holder. No kidding. The chopsticks come apart, and fit in this case that you can take with you. Now, I ask you, wouldn't that be just the thing for double pointed needles?

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm Fixated

Yep -- it's Cascade Fixation in wild and wacky colors. I love these little stretchy socks! Here's another view:

Not to vent (okay, I am venting), but I had a particularly nasty custody case this morning, that was supposed to go to trial, but one of the parties mistakenly thought it had been adjourned. Right. So, the morning was spent in between (I'm law guardian for a 4 year old) two bellowing lawyers who were throwing accusations back and forth like firecrackers. The Judge, an elderly gentleman who is nothing but courtly (pun intended!), said he didn't mind if I knit to stay calm, so I did! Finished the sock! But the trial resumes next week.

And here, for your viewing enjoyment, are photos of two shawls I knit last year from Kid-n-Ewe, a discontinued yarn by Bryspun (50% wool-50% kid mohair). I am an absolute 'ho for this yarn, and someone on the yahoo knit digest group has an entire cone! She wanted to see how it knit up, so here we go:

It's perfect for shawls, and I have plans to make a cardigan with the kelly green skeins I bought on e-bay a few months ago.

And finally, a "what is it" photo:

or .... what could it be used for? Answer to be revealed!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Big Blue in Progress

Here she is without arms! The Venus de Milo of sweaters ....
and with the greatly appreciated help of Twig, knitting maven extraordinaire, I have picked up stitches around the armholes and am knitting down for the sleeves. So far so good ...

and it's the only thing keeping me sane since the husband and I have made some huge decisions in the last week. To make a long story short, we've put an offer in on a house with guest lodging, a sort of "B & B", without the breakfast. It's a nice piece of property with 4 ponds (one has an otter that visits!), beautiful gardens, a hot tub, redwood sauna, a main house with 3 bedrooms and a real kitchen! (those of you who know I live in a barn can appreciate that fact).
And as Jack has fully retired, this is just what we need. He'll run the business, we'll meet some interesting people, and have a neat place to live. Of course, I'm already planning to market the place for knitting retreats .... and Finger Lakes winery tours!
So I definitely need my knitting more now than ever. Big Blue should be done by sundown :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm Hot and Cranky ...

and I have summer cold. Can I blame it on the Chinese?

ps It's hard to knit when you're sneezing.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chinese toothpaste?

Forgive the non-knitting content, but this story caught my eye this morning on Yahoo. Maybe my paranoia is normal ....

Makes me want to live in the woods and knit directly from wild sheep.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Eye Candy from the Garden

Meet Miss Bleeding Heart:
Not that we have anything in common, mind you (oops, my liberal genes are showing). But I love this plant. My mom was a wonderful gardener, and I didn't really appreciate that about her until after she was gone. We had tulips, daffodils, morning glorys, four o'clocks, lilies of the valley, hollyhocks, roses ... Not in a particularly organized garden, but however she felt like planting them. And, bleeding hearts. They don't last long, but they're beautiful. So these are for mom.

And this, is a trillium. It is illegal to pick trillium in New York State. They grow like crazy on my hillside, so we've replanted a few closer to the barn. This one is next to the bleeding heart and I think they're friends.

Still knitting on Big Blue ... but tonight is Sip-n-Stitch, so I might not get too much done between rounds of Harp!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Big Blue

Yep -- here it is. The Cotlin yarn from Knitpicks in Nightfall, in progress. I've jumped without a net, and am trying to design a drop-shoulder sweater using Ann Budd's wonderful book, along with hints and advice from EZ herself, in Knitting Workshop. I'm tense. But loving it.

This is a close-up of the yoke, and I actually made up the design, on graph paper. What am I, nuts?

And, a long shot:
I'm about to shape for the neck, then pick up and knit the sleeves downward. I'm hoping the emminent Twig will give me some tips, as I remember she did the same on a sweater a few months ago.

I'm forcing myself to finish this, in spite of the calls from the stash to knit a tank top, and I do love the drape and feel.

And now for something completely different -- in the continuing saga of my anti-China/foreign purchases, the spouse wants to buy a pair of "hybrid" shoes for summer -- kind of a cross between sandals, water shoes, and sneakers. Last year, before my epiphany, I went to a local shoe store, and bought these, which I love. So I go on the web site. I look at the shoes. No indication of where they are made. So I sent the company an email. And this is what I got in response:

Thank you for contacting Keen Footwear! We applaud your interest in supporting products made under good environmental and working conditions. Keen Footwear is manufactured in privately owned and operated factories in China. Our US based product development team is in constant contact with the factories, and visits them regularly to ensure that they fully adhere to our labor and environmental standards.

Keen takes an active interest in both the economical and physical well-being of the communities where our shoes are produced, in addition to strict adherence to the international fair labor standards.
If you are interested in a copy of our labor standard, please let us know!

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us. Have a great day!Sincerely,

Do I believe them? Does it matter? There's still the cost of shipping products from China. There's still the issue of my dollars supporting other countries. I'm probably being a bit obsessive, but hockey season is over, and I have to get my release somehow!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Scary Things

This is a mosaic floor I saw at a museum in St. Augustine, Florida. Why did I take a photo, you ask? Because I thought it would make a cool knitting pattern for the edges of a cardigan, that's all. I fear I am truly obsessed.

And here's what's even scarier:

My 16 year old son has his driver's permit. Watch out New York drivers! Actually, he's doing pretty well, but I'm still a nervous mom. How did he get so old? How did I get so old?

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Yuan Stops Here

Look carefully. That is the yuan, an example of Chinese currency.
And now look at this: The U.S. Dollar. I wish I could show a magic trick where the dollar turns into the yuan, but all I have to do is look at the labels on my clothes, my electronic equipment, and my pet food.

I started thinking about the yuan after the pet food recalls. Never in a million years could I have imagined that an ingredient in Alice and Miss Kitty's food would come from China. Now, most of the time, I put a mental wall up against "the news". I listen to NPR on the way to the office, to keep myself "informed", but I usually don't allow any feelings to seep through, because, I tell myself, I am virtually powerless to change global issues. (snickers from my friends who remember my early activist days are allowed).

But then I started listening, and thinking. China's economy is booming. China's government does not have the safeguards in place to protect our environment, let alone the health and safety of consumers of products made in that country. Then add the fuel that it takes to ship pet food from China, or clothing, or toys, and the impact is appalling.

I kept thinking, what can I do? One person, in a small town in Central New York. Write my Congress representatives? Maybe. The President? (hah!) So I did nothing.

Then, the other day I was changing my clothes at the office, before going to the Y. Here's what I discovered: My skirt was made in China, my blouse in Swaziland, my bra in the Dominican Republic, and my panties in Bangladesh. And I didn't even buy any of them at Wal-Mart.

So here's what I decided: No more. I am not powerless. I have the power of the American Dollar. I will not buy any items made in China again, nor any made outside of the United States. Even if it means that I have to knit my own underwear, or (gasp) go without ala Brittany Spears.

I'm serious. And it's not going to be easy. Just try to find a small appliance made in the U.S. Or a pair of sneakers. In the past, I've ordered items from the Sierra Trading Post catalogue, and LL Bean. Guess where over 90% of those items are made? You got it -- Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, China. Our dollars supporting other countries who are taking our money , killing our pets, and poisoning our environment. No more.

I wonder what would happen if, just for one day, no one in America bought anything foreign made. Do you think the politicians would notice?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Florida Fun!

This is what I left -- sand, sea, and sunshine. Sigh. Not that it's not sunny here today, but there's something about the ocean that I adore, even though I can't swim a stroke.

There was knitting, however. Skeins of it! Here's me in Threads of Time, Ormond Beach, Florida. A great store! And great finds.

Here's what I bought:

To make this:

The yarn is a blend of cotton and silk, and feels delicious. I had to start it, even without my swift and winder. I also bought enough Rowan Cashcotton to make a cardigan -- on sale for 50% off! The color is wonderful -- a nice purple and it feels so soft.

And there was even historical knitting!

This was in the Lightner Museum, in St. Augustine. A rich dude's private collection. I tried to fit it in my purse, but my friends thought we'd get caught and since we don't practice law in Florida ... well, she's still there, being adorable. I love the bare feet!

Finally, here's the pullover I'm knitting from Knitpicks Cotlin.

I made up the border pattern, and am either going to make it a raglan or a drop-shoulder, trying the EZ Percentage System. I love the color, and the yarn is DK weight, so I don't think it will be too heavy.

And now for something completely different, but not unexpected: GO SABRES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Report from Down South

Stupid moi forgot the camera/computer cord. So you'll have to be satisfied with word pictures.

1. Blue skies. Big yellow ball in the sky. Could it be??? Yes!!! The sun! Something we haven't seen for a long time in Western NY. I love it.

2. Waves. Sand. Dolphins!

3. Yarn!!!!!!!!! Threads of Time. Purchases of good stuff, photos to follow. Some, on sale!

4. Flight from hell. I sat next to a woman who need two seats, really. That was ok, but when she decided to change the diapers of her two toddlers, sitting across from us with an older sister, in the aisle, and stash the poopie one in a bag underneath her seat, I almost became a homicidal maniac.

5. Landshark Lager. With a lime.

6. Sabres fans at the Oyster Bar in Daytona! Yes Twig, there were a few Rangers fans there also (grrr). Good food. Mor Landshark Lager.

7. St. Augustine -- cool buildings, great Cuban food, banana-chocolate-graham cracker ice cream.

8. And the best part -- 2 more days!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good News/Bad News

The Good: I leave on Friday for 7 days in Florida, on the ocean, with a gal lawyer pal. On the agenda -- novels, knitting and drinks with umbrellas. That's it.

The Bad: Every single client I have is having a crisis that must be resolved before I leave. Or so they think. I feel like the Rangers' Goalie will during the next round of the play-offs when fielding the hundreds of pucks that will be shot his way by Buffalo. None of which will be going in the net, of course!

Has anyone ever knit on the beach? I'm thinking socks will be good -- not too heavy on the lap, I can shake out the sand. And besides, I can always use one of the drink umbrella sticks if I lose a dpn. And the cotton-linen sweater for inside, when the sun gets too hot.

Here's hoping for good weather, and a sports bar nearby to watch the playoffs!

PS For those who are wondering why all the fuss about hockey, check out the Hockey Knitters Knitalong for others like me!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Swatch me!

It's Knitpicks Cotlin, in Nightfall. I picked a stitch pattern from the 365 Day Stitch Calendar, and I'm going to try to do a sweater ala EZ. I'm getting 5 stitches to the inch on size 8's, so it's off to the calculator to figure out the specs. I love the drape of the yarn, and it's not too heavy. I did "wash" it and let it dry, and it softens up very nicely.

So my question is this -- if I knit this pattern in the round, do I use the same ratio? By that I mean, it's an 8 stitch repeat, plus 6. So if I cast on 190 stitches -- does that work out? Or do you make it plus 5 because there won't be a seam stitch?

I've tried to look this up in various books, but can't seem to figure out the answer. Help would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Baby News!

Baby Sarah has arrived, yesterday at 2 pm. All's well with Mom and baby, and I can't wait to see her.

No knitting news -- I've been too busy digging up the coffee cans in the back yard to find enough money to pay my taxes. Arghhhhhh. I'm one of those last minute filers who stays in denial until the end.

But the Quest for the Cup continues with my team up 2-1 in the first series. I have to keep reminding myself -- one puck at a time, one puck at a time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's April 16th?

I'm sitting here in my flannel pjs, looking at the juncos shivering at the bird feeder on the deck. There is at least 6 inches of snow, and more is falling. The wind is whipping, schools in Canandaigua are closed, and I'm wondering if I should even try to make it to work.

I hate these driving decisions. If I don't go, I'll feel like a wimp. And I have a custody trial scheduled to start at 9, and the odds are the Respondent/Mom won't make it in from Oswego (really getting hit by the storm), but I'm the Law Guardian for my 5 year old client, so I'll probably inch my way into the City.

Why can't we just declare it a "Stay At Home Knitting Day" once and for all? Hey -- maybe that should be a national holiday anyway? Or, yeah, let's make that everyday?

I think I'm snow-blind.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Baby Sarah's Sweater and Hat

As I may have mentioned before, a lawyer pal of mine is having a girl baby next week. Her C-Section is scheduled for Monday, and I can't believe I finished the sweater and hat even before the baby arrived! (There is a still unfinished "bee sweater" - yellow and black stripes, with bee buttons -- somewhere in the depths of my stash, originally planned for Ethan, now about to turn 3). Here are the specs:

Yarn: Cascade Superwash 22o.
Needles: Size 5 for the borders, size 7 for the body.
Size: 12 months, or so.
Pattern: Made it up. Yep, my first solo flight. I relied on both the EZ percentage system, and her notes for raglans in Knitting Around, and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, by Ann Budd, both of which have the status on my shelf of The Bible.
I decided on seed stitch for the borders, and made up the little purl pattern on the body, randomly deciding to repeat it every 6 stitches, and stagger it every 6 rows. It's simple: p1 on the first row, p3 on the second, p1 on the third. Makes a nice little diamond "bump" that kind of looks like 3D polka dots. Here's a close- up:
Comments: As usual, I hate the neck. That's where I goofed. I tried to make a modified vee neck, and didn't do the decreases right, plus I think I left too many stitches on the back. But it's my first try, and babies have fat necks, right? (thinking of my chubsters with neck rolls and thighs that made you want to pinch them).
I'm delivering it to the Mom today, on the condition that I get a photo of Sarah wearing it, plus unlimited holding privileges, of course!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What Is It?

Okay, knitters, help me out here. A friend's mother-in-law passed away last year, and she was a knitter. A Latvian born knitter. Janet found this in her MIL's things, and gave it to me.

I think it has something to do with spinning, not knitting, but I'm not sure what. Does it get attached to a wheel? Should I let the cats play with it? Or just use it to hold down the flurry of papers on my desk?

In hockey news ... Thursday is the big night for my team. Game 1 against the Islanders. Go Sabres!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Frog City

I have declared today "National Frog Day." Having left my Wool Peddler's Shawl at the office, by accident, mind you, I am faced with devising a Plan B for knitting over Easter Weekend. (There is no way I'm going into work this weekend, no way, no how, even for my favorite knitting project de jour).

So I've decided to take the plunge into Kermit's Pond and do this:
Exhibit A: Is (make that was) the Family Tunic from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick, designed by Debbie Bliss. Don't get me wrong, I love this pattern. I love the yarn -- Karabella Marble from School Products - a 50/50 alpaca wool blend. The problem lies in the seed stitch.
The body of the sweater -- actually, all of the sweater except the yoke -- is in k1 p1 seed stitch, on size 7 needles. By the time I finished the front, my fingers were ready to fall off the end of my hands. All that shifting the yarn from front to back. So I let it sit. And sit. And sit.

For 2 years.

Exhibit B:
A cardigan, sized XS, started by TwinB over three years ago, when she was about as big as a toothpick. Now, I'm happy to say, she's taller and, although still slender, not an XS. The yarn is one of my favorites, Kid-n-Ewe by Bryspun, discontinued (sigh), but still bought up by me anytime I find it on ebay.

So all this ripping has led me to formulate a Personal Knitting Rule (hereinafter "PKR").

"If it's on the needles for more than 6 months, rip rip rip."

Believe me, it's not easy. The Family Tunic was hard to let go of. But it was also sending out those invisible waves of knitting guilt -- You should be working on me -- everytime I saw it. So I finally came to my senses and decided to return the yarn to a guilt free state, and am contemplating a new pattern (without the dreaded seed stitch) for it.

Off to get the winder!

PS (said softly as not to offend other hockey knitters, "Go Sabres!")