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!")

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Week So Far

... more court appearances than humans should be allowed to have.

... Judges who think, "I'll encourage these folks to settle, I'll schedule a trial for ALL DAY ON GOOD FRIDAY. That'll show them." (not the lawyers, of course. no)

... a punk-ass lawyer from the big city to the North threatening me with sanctions because my clients won't agree to visitation with his psycho-abusive clients, who have been formally declared psycho-abusive by a court appointed psychologist.

.. clients who cry in open court, cursing the system for mistakes they've made and for which they take no responsibility.

... clients cursing at me because I cannot get them out of their aforesaid mistakes.

... Judges who think, "I'll encourage these folks to settle, I'll schedule their cases for 9 A.M. THE MONDAY AFTER EASTER." (repeat above comment)

... a disgruntled ex-husband of a client threatening my partner in our parking lot, causing the police to be called.

The only positives I can think of are that my hockey boys won the top slot in the Eastern Conference (now if only Dominik Hasek pulls a groin muscle like he did when he was in Buffalo, we might win the League),

and, I'm successfully into the lace repeats on the Wool Peddler's Shawl.

Is it time for chocolate yet?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Why I Like Knitting Lace

even though it's frustrating. This is the Wool Peddler Shawl, in probress. I just got to the lace part, and it's driving me crazy. I certainly can't do it while watching hockey, or talking, or almost anything else.

So why do I do it? The same reason I climb mountains in the winter. When I'm trying to make it to the top of one of the Adirondack peaks in, say, mid-January, all I am thinking of for six hours is where to put my feet, and trying not to fall. One foot in front of the other. And when I'm done, hair plastered to my head, legs and feet aching, dying for a Sam Adams draft, I really feel like I've accomplished something. And ... I'm relaxed! One day of mountain hiking is like three days away.

Knitting lace is kind of like that. All I can do is follow the pattern, count, sometimes say it out loud, and I absolutely can't multi-task. No phone calls, no t.v., no chatting. It's a nice breather. I don't know if it's the job, our culture or my personality, but I'm always trying to do at least two things at once. Eat breakfast, read the paper. Talk on the phone, cruise the internet. Talk on the phone, drive. It doesn't seem that there's enough hours in the day to get everything done, but maybe it's just that I expect too much of myself (okay, and my clients and the courts) and keep taking on more and more.

So lace is slower. Prettier. And maybe some of that philosophy will rub off each time I wear the shawl.

My, I'm philosophical!

In the meantime, here's the Koigu sock in progress. I do love this yarn; Jessica was right! I like the "twistyness" of the ply, and the colors are fantastic. Lizzie wanted ankle socks, but I bought two skeins anyway, so there might be enough for me to have a pair too!

Well it's off to my Sunday knitting clan --- and I won't be bringing the lace!