Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seedy Stockinette Baby Blanket

My friend is having a baby, so I made a hat, booties, and wanted to make a simple blanket. I didn't find any pattern that I liked, so I created this one:

Seedy Stockinette Baby Blanket

Finished Size: About 36" wide and 40" long

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, 7 oz Soft White, 7 oz Light Blue, 7 oz Dark Blue

Needles: Size 6 (4mm). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows = 4" (10 cm) in St st

Skill Level: Easy

Cast on 130 stitches.

Rows 1-14, Soft White, seed stitch.

Rows 15-28, Do 10 stitches in Soft White in Seed Stitch. On stitch 11, switch to Dark Blue, work in stockinette stitch until last 10 stitches. Switch back to Soft White, work in seed stitch until end.

Rows 29-42, Soft White. Work first ten stitches in seed stitch, work in stockinette until last 10 stitches. Work last 10 stitches in seed stitch.

Rows 42-56, Do 10 stitches in Soft White in Seed Stitch. On stitch 11, switch to Light Blue, work in stockinette stitch until last 10 stitches. Switch back to Soft White, work in seed stitch until end.

Rows 57-70, Soft White. Work first ten stitches in seed stitch, work in stockinette until last 10 stitches. Work last 10 stitches in seed stitch.

Repeat Rows 15-70 until blanket reaches about 38" or desired length. End with 14 rows of seed stitch in soft white.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knitting for the Office Christmas Party

I finished my knitting for the Office Christmas Luncheon. I put the scarves in these absolutely adorable bags. I fluffed them all with tissue paper. I gave them to their recipients. Only one person even opened hers, although I will say, she loved hers. I was very happy with the way they all came out, and I hope that when the other four people open theirs that they like them. I may be joining the "Selfish Knitters Group" on Ravelry. I really worked hard on the scarves, and it was a little disappointing that no one even cared to see what I gave them. A big part of giving gifts, for me, is the joy in seeing someone open the gift, the joy in knowing that they appreciate the gift and will use it. I'm trying not to feel too snubbed with my gifts...

These are the scarves that I made:

For JC:

For DA:

For MLB:
For DJV:
For TB:
And these are the bags for them:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

friday freaky fun fact & foto

Yesterday, Velma tagged me in her friday freaky fun fact & foto post. This is the first time anyone has done anything like this, so I hope I do it correctly! And I suppose mine is really a saturday freaky fun fact & foto, as it were...

Okay. the freaky fun fact: Prior to digital, you could really tell the difference between professional photographers and lay photographers, generally speaking. I find now that far many more people will get really good digital cameras. But before that, if you had really good equipment, people assumed you were a professional. So one time, I went to this balloon festival, and because I had great equipment, I simply walked around the little orange fencing and into the press tent and started changing my film. I was chatting with photographers from the local paper and USA today and the NY Times and Time/Life. No one asked me for my press pass or asked what I was doing there or where I worked. Granted, you couldn't do this now (and in a post 9/11 world, I am glad that you really can no longer do this) but these are some of the shots I got that morning at 6 am before the launch:

And now for the tagging. I tag:
Jane (if she is feeling better!)
Marie (if she can tear herself away from the oven!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Naming the Animals

Naming the Animals

by Anthony Hecht

Having commanded Adam to bestow
Names upon all the creatures, God withdrew
To empyrean palaces of blue
That warm and windless morning long ago,
And seemed to take no notice of the vexed
Look on the young man's face as he took thought
Of all the miracles the Lord had wrought
Now to be labeled, dubbed, yclept, indexed.

Before an addled mind and puddle brow,
The feathered nation and the finny prey
Passed by; there went biped and quadruped.
Adam looked forth with bottomless dismay
Into the tragic eyes of his first cow,
And shyly ventured, "Thou shalt be called 'Fred.'"

"Naming the Animals" by Anthony Hecht, from Collected Later Poems. © Alfred A Knopf, 2003.

And lest anyone get all copyright crazy, I would submit that I rely upon the fair use doctrine for the printing of this poem here rather than the mere linking to it on the Writer's Almanac web page which did obtain it with permission. The fair use doctrine consists of an inquiry into four questions: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. As for (1), the use is merely personal, not commercial at all. I derive no income from this blog, and it is being used to educate and illustrate the source of my title; (2) because the poem has previously been published, the author has been able to derive pleasure, notoriety and income from the publication of the poem, and therefore, the nature of the work lends itself to the fair use doctrine; (3) although a complete poem, the fourteen lines of text represent but one page of a 250+ page book and one of countless entries on the Writer's Almanac page, which includes an RSS feed of daily poetry, and (4) not enough people read my blog that it could ever be interpreted to have a negative effect upon the potential market or value of the copyrighted work. If anything, maybe one person might decide to check out the rest of Mr. Hecht's poems, which I encourage greatly.

(If I had the ability to footnote, the above would be footnoted)

And now on to the regular part of the post:

Somehow, I have no problem naming my blog posts. The names frequently present themselves, or are simple, descriptive names. Projects, on the other hand, give me all kinds of trouble when I am attempting to name them. All too often, I wind up just naming them whatever the person named the original pattern. I am attempting to be better about this, but I rarely am able to break away from the original pattern titles. Often, as I am moving through life, I come up with things that I think would make good titles for short stories or songs or would make good band names. I think I may have to start using some of them for my pattern titles. They would be random, but it may just work.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lesson Learned

There are certain patterns I can do while I am on the phone, and certain patterns I cannot. I know this. I have experienced this before. You would think that I would be able to internalize this and remember it. You would think that I would know that a pattern like this cannot be done while I am on the phone.
You would be wrong. I attempted to knit this while on the phone with my brother. I had to tink back 10 rows because I did something very very wrong. Lesson learned. I promise.

Until the next time...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Living Up to Expectations -- the followup

I received the loveliest thank you note from my friend for the blanket I made her for her wedding.

She writes:

"OMG! We love the blanket! We opened it up in the car on the way home and E kept reaching over and burying his hands in it -- it is so soft and warm and cozy." She went on to tell me how decorating sort of intimidates her, and so she hadn't picked colors but that she loved the color of the blanket, so it will be an accent in the house.

Yay! Success!

And on an unrelated note, I started the scarf I want to make for one of the women at work, but I don't know if I like it. And I was going to post a picture of it on Ravelry, and ask opinions, but i can't seem to take a picture of it that actually looks anything like what it looks like in real life... I might try to get some in-person opinions tomorrow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hauling Yarn, or How I Lost Respect for the F150

I have always been a fan of various Ford vehicles. For almost as long as I can remember, my dream car has been the Mustang convertible and if I were to get a truck, I have always said that I would get a Ford F150. But now I'm not so sure.

The most recent Ford ad lauds steps that lead in and out of the cargo space. The voice over implies that it is a big deal for anyone who has real cargo. The voice says, "unless all you're carrying is yarn, it's a no brainer." Oh really? And what if you are carrying yarn? Do you not deserve the steps? Is yarn not worthy of being carried in the F150? Why? Is it not manly enough? What's heavier, a pound of yarn or a pound of cement?

I hope the Madison Avenue geniuses who created this ad never ask the knitters in their lives for hand-knit watchcaps. A big thumbs-down to Ford, and to their ad agency for continuing and promoting negative gender stereotypes.

One of the things that I love about modern knitting is that knitters defy gender stereotypes. Ian Johnson is a hero of mine because he combines crafting and football, two things I adore:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Draft Dodger, an apolitical post

Whenever I think about the fact that I am knitting a "draft dodger" it makes me think about burning cards and bras in the 60s. But no, this is an apolitical post, and I am making a "draft dodger" for my windowsill. I decided that I am using up whatever scraps I can find on it, and if I need to add a smidge of yarn from something larger, I will. But I hope not to have to.

I started it and some of the yarn was slightly thinner than the other yarn, which was pretty much your regulation worsted weight yarn. The thinner yarn came from a project that someone had started in a weaving loom that I bought second-hand. I wasn't a fan of the project and wouldn't have had the yarn to finish it if I had liked it, so I merely ripped it out and decided to use the yarn for something, though I didn't want to throw it out. I had little snippets of the yarn in different colors, so I thought that this draft dodger would be a good project for it, especially because no one would see the inside strands hanging out. I contemplated doing stripes, but quickly gave up that idea. Too annoying to carry the balls of yarn and not get them tangled. If I had just two colors, I might have done that, but I decided to go with the randomness approach.

So the problem with the slightly thinner yarn is that, well, the worsted weight yarn was the end and the slightly thinner yarn then is the next part of the dodger. Pictures would probably help, but I am not so fond of the idea of posting what greatly resembles a brightly colored and sometimes striped portion of the male anatomy.

I am hopeful that when I stuff the draft dodger, it will fill out in all the right places and will resemble a dodger and not the male anatomy...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Living Up to Expectation

So my friend got married, in a small, private ceremony with just family. Her mother decided that she wanted to have a party for her for her family and friends. So on Saturday, my mother said that she thought I should make my friend a blanket. I looked at her and said, "Are you kidding? I can't finish a whole blanket in a week!" But then, well, I did... Granted, I had off for Veteran's Day, but I managed to finish the blanket. I'm pretty excited that I was able to make it on such short notice. AND, I got rid of 8 skeins of yarn doing it! It's just basic -- just a plain single crochet with a size P hook (the big honkin' blue one). But I think I'm sort of happy with it. If I had more time, I probably would have ripped it and made it a little longer and narrower. As it happens, I kind of worked around my mistakes...

I hung it on my couch to take pictures -- I wasn't sure how else to do it...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Knitting Resolutions

In moving, I have learned that I have too much yarn. And yes, sadly, it is possible to have too much yarn. In particular, it is possible to have too much acrylic yarn. Acrylic yarn is the staple of my stash because I don't have a lot of money. I was also never really all that good at knitting, so I didn't know what I was buying. Or I would buy bulk instead of quality. Now that I have gotten better at knitting, I know I want to start using better yarns, and I want to treat myself to the experience. I am still a little nervous about screwing up more expensive yarn, but I know I would like to use better yarn more often.

So my knitting resolutions:
  1. Make at least one charity project per month. This can be as small as a chemo hat or a square for a blanket that will be joined together by others.
  2. Work down the stash before buying new yarn. I know that this is a pipe dream, but I am going to make an effort not to just keep buying yarn. So I am going to try to make at least two projects for any one project's worth of yarn that I buy.
  3. Make scrapghans out of whatever leftovers I have that aren't really enough for anything else.
  4. Finish UFOs.
Anyone else have any other suggestions of knitting resolutions?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oddities of moving

A few things that I have discovered in moving:

I have too much scotch tape. I understand why this has happened. Whenever I go to wrap a present or something, I invariably cannot find my tape and I have to buy new tape. So I understand why I have more scotch tape than I could possibly use in my life.

I have about a dozen sets of tweezers. Unlike the scotch tape, I don't know where these all came from. I don't use tweezers -- I get my eyebrows waxed. I don't buy tweezers -- or at least I don't ever remember buying tweezers. And yet, there they were. In my medicine cabinet, the drawer of my night-table, one in my sock drawer. I don't know who is hiding tweezers among my possessions, but I don't particularly appreciate it.

And other than that, my big problem is that I just have too much stuff and not enough motivation. I feel like I'm not going to get everything done before Thursday, when the moving people are coming... I am definitely taking Thursday off so I can be here when they move us -- I may have to take Wednesday off, too, if I can't get everything done tomorrow. It's a little intimidating. I mostly worked all day today and got through a lot of crap. I'm taking a little break to watch the Penn State/Ohio State football game (Go Nittany Lions). And then tomorrow, I have to really do the rest of it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What I Have Learned From Moving: A List in Three Acts

Prelude: The packing began in earnest today. The countdown is 13 days until I have to be completely ready to move.

Act I: Morning
  • I have too many papers.
  • I have too many books.
  • I have too many candles.
  • I have too much yarn.
Act II: Noon
  • I have too many pictures.
  • I have too many clothes.
  • I have too many pillows (odd, right?)
  • I have too much yarn.
Act III: Night
  • I have too many shoes.
  • I have too many dishes.
  • I have too many CDs
  • I have too much yarn.
Epilogue: In my next life, I want to be a minimalist. And only to buy the yarn I'm going to use.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Digs

I put a deposit down on a new place to live today. It's great. I think it will be a really good place for me. It was time for me to leave this apartment, and the new one is in Hoboken. The good news is that it is about a half a mile from the PATH and the better/more dangerous news is that it is about half a mile from Patricia's Yarns. Hopefully, I can go and get lots of ideas for working down my stash before I go and spend lots of money on new yarn. But I'm excited about living in Hoboken. For many people from my area, it is sort of the pinnacle of destinations before you buy a house. It's where all of the bars are, where all of the young people are, it's not NYC (which turns a lot of people off) and it's close to public transportation. So we shall see. All I know is that I am hoping that everything goes smoothly and that I can pack up all of my garbage. I'm trying to throw away as much as I can and get rid of whatever I can...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Falling off the Face of the Earth

Oh, I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted. Whoops. Life is what happens when you're making other plans, right?

I started taking a baby sweater class with Patricia at Patricia's Yarns. During one session, these two women walked by and we overheard one of them say, "I'd like to take classes there but they're so expensive." Patricia and I had a good laugh over that one. For the three sessions, Patricia's class was $45. At three sessions, an hour and a half per session, that's $10 an hour. Minimum wage in NJ is $7.15 an hour. Yeah. She's barely breaking even on these classes! And I've learned a few new techniques that I can take into other projects, and I'm almost finished with the baby jacket (pictures soon).

I'm also making a shawl. I was looking for something fast and easy to remember. I started making one but it was much too difficult to remember how to do. But then I found the Crescendo Shawl, which I like because it is easy (cables on rows 3 & 7 but the rest is just knit and purl) and I don't have to keep looking at a pattern. As long as I remember to knit 2 before and after the cables on the 3rd row and knit 5 before and after the cables on the 7th row, I'm good. And I messed up on one row (I didn't discover it until much later) but you can't actually see it unless you know what to look for (I've asked non-knitting friends to find the mistake row and they couldn't). So I think I'm leaving it rather than knitting all the way back.

Monday, August 11, 2008

ScrapGhan, or The Garrett, reincarnated

I started another "Garrett." In some circles this afghan is called a scrapghan. Which is cute. But in my world, it will always be the Garrett. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but it's a good way to work down the stash. There were a few balls, colors, etc. which were just too small to make it worth selling. And I started this before I knew that I had to sell all of my stash, so maybe some of it would have been worth selling.

But I'm finding that evidently, people don't want my yarn as much as I would have liked them to have wanted my yarn. Although I've raised about $100, it is nowhere near the $2000 that I need by the end of the month. Some friends have said that they would all kind of chip in and help me scrape the money together, and I will have to do that and pay them back as I get my paychecks. It's not how I wanted to progress, not how I wanted to enter my new job, but I suppose it is what it is... Not much I can do about it now.

Back to the Garrett Scrapghan, though. I may be donating it somewhere if I can find a good place, someone who will appreciate it. I may see how I feel about it when I'm done. Right now, I can't imagine it having a home in my home.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sold some more yarn...

I am putting the thermometer on the right side of the blog, and will keep a running total for it there.

I'm not deducting my shipping costs, though to be truly accurate, I really should. It's too much math, though. As my law school friends all know me to say, "I went to law school because there was no math on the LSAT." So, you know, it will have to be an approximate.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Edited by a Moderator

Whoops. I got edited by the moderator of the Destashing group on Ravelry for saying that in addition to trying to sell my stash, I would also welcome any donations. Apparently, many people complained that I had put the donation part on. Who knew? I, of course, thanked her for her moderating, because I understand that one needs to keep the groups orderly and serving the purposes for which they were created, but I looked at the group's main page, and it says *nothing* about donations in any way. I am pretty good at reading into things, but I can't tell from that main page what would upset people enough to complain, or how putting the donation part would go against what the group was created to do.

In con law parlance, we would call that vague and overbroad. It regulates speech that the individual has no way of knowing would be regulated. I don't have a problem with a group being against a particular action. But please, let us know what that action is! Or give us some hint, at least.

Oh well. In any case, to keep the donation button present on the blog as I post more, I have made it a button on the right. Everything is very much appreciated.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Apartment Woes

Okay, so my landlord tried to stick us with a 57% increase on our rent. We went to court, claiming that it was unconscionable, and not only did the judge think that 57% was an okay percentage to raise the rent, he also ruled that we have to pay the additional rent for the time when the case was pending. We're appealing the decision, but long story short, I need to come up with almost $2,000 by the end of August. To that end, I am selling a whole bunch of my yarn on Ravelry (if you are interested and don't have a Ravelry account, let me know, I can send you pictures and prices directly).

I've also set up a "donate" button if anyone feels so inclined to help with my plight.

And a thermometer to keep track of my progress.

Free fundraising thermometer

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No Knitting is Not Good Knitting

Yeah. So the bar ended last week, and I have puttered around with the knitting and haven't really done much of anything. I'm working on my stash-gahan, modeled after the "Garrett" blanket, but with worsted weight yarn. Maybe tomorrow I'll take pictures of it, and post them.

I wanted to make the Phoenix shawl from Ravelry, and I bought the pattern and some of the yarn, but I seem to be having some trouble with it, so I think it may have to wait until September when I can go into Patricia's Yarns on a some-what regular basis and ask for her help with it as I progress.

And my list of things that other people make keep growing. I don't know how, but I manage to get very sucked into making things for other people all the time... And just because I was doing minimal knitting doesn't mean that people weren't asking for things. Oh well. I guess it just means I should get off my tuchus and start really knitting again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

randomized photographs

I saw this on Yberry's blog, and I thought it was a really cute idea.

The concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

This is mine:
1. San Michele di Pagana, 2. Cookie, Anyone, 3. Ha'penny Bridge, 4. double and supernumerary rainbows, 5. Dwayne Johnson, 6. Tossed Cookies, 7. FIRE SHOT, 8. Apple Pie, 9. Joy of life, 10. inspiration..., 11. Another stick in the wall..., 12. Kiss

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I found this on "Left of the Dial's" blog. You sort your music library by name and then write down the first song in each letter. I think it's fairly representative of my music -- some classical, some pop, some current, some old-school rock, some religious, some long-ago female vocalists, one song from a television show I watched as a young child, and even one track that is spoken boring-ness incarnate about quasi-contracts as I'm studying for the bar.

A-Tisket, A-Tasket – Ella Fitzgerald
B.J. Don’t Cry – Moxy Fruvous
Cadillac Car – Dreamgirls Soundtrack
D’Yer Mak’er – Led Zepplin
Eat for Two – 10,000 Maniacs
Fade Away to Blue – Dave Murphy
G-chord Song – Suzzy Roche
Ha’azinu – Craig Taubman
I’d Rather Go Blind – Etta James
J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite # 5 Mstislav Rostropovich
Kaddish – Debbie Friedman
L.A. Woman – the Doors
MacArthur Park – Donna Summer
N.Y.C. – Annie, the Musical, soundtrack
O.R.R. – Lynryd Skynyrd
Pain – Elton John
Quasi-Contract – PMBR Remedies
Race You Down the Mountain – Paula and Carole
S’wonderful – Diana Krall
T.B.D. – Live
Umut – Rafet et Roman
V’ahavta – Doug Mishkin
Wait – Michael Convertino
Y Te Vas – Motel
Zak and Sarah – Ben Folds

What are you listening to these days? I'm especially looking for good ideas of up-music -- what makes you sing along and lifts your mood every single time you hear it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Garrett

I was going to try to post this pattern on Ravelry, but I don't think I did it right, so until I get that fixed and taken care of, this is the story and the pattern that emerged (and someday, maybe pictures).

My friend Garrett (see him in his kitschy Budweiser hat in a previous post) is colorblind. One day he said to me, "I want you to make me the softest blanket you can, but I don't care what color it is." You know, because he wouldn't be able to tell anyway. Right. So I was going to buy new yarn for it, and then I realized that I had all of these scraps hanging around from old blankets that I had made. I collected them -- and begged a few off of a friend who also crochets -- and got white for my border. The original Garrett Blanket was knit, intarsia-style for the border, but since then, I mostly prefer to crochet them because it makes weaving in the ends easier as I can do them as I go. Garrett LOVED his blanket, and his girlfriend talks about it all the time.

How to make "The Garrett"

Knit (any gauge will work, any size needle, any yarn, and any stitch. I tend to do my borders in seed and the body of the work in stockinette because I find it goes the most quickly). Cast on as many stitches as you want for your blanket.
1. Separate your yarn by weight. Each blanket will be one weight of yarn. Save your other yarn for a different blanket.
2. Begin with 4 rows of your border color.
3. On the fifth row, knit 5 stitches in your border color, and then add in your new color. Knit to the last five stitches of the row, knitting the last five stitches in the border color. Repeat this row until you no longer have any more of your inside color left, but end at the end of a row.
4. Knit 4 rows in the border color.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, using your next color and the border color until you are out of colors or your blanket is long enough.
6. Bind off and weave in ends.

1. Separate your yarn by weight. Each blanket will be one weight of yarn. Save your other yarn for a different blanket.
2. Start with a color, and chain as wide as you would like your blanket to be, absent your border. If you only have a little bit of each color and would like the blocks of color to be larger, make the body of the blanket a little narrower, but be prepared to make up for it when you crochet around with your border color at the end.
3. When you have run out of color (at the end of a row), add your border color and crochet 4 rows of border color.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have run out of colors or your blanket is long enough.
5. Single crochet around the outside of the blanket with the border color as many times as you think it should be for a substantial border.
6. Weave in ends.

It's really that easy (and flexible). Garrett is supposed to be sending me a picture of his, but I will probably wind up posting the new one I'm making. I like the colors to be truly random, so frequently, I will put them in a dark and solid tote bag, close my eyes and pull out a color. Whatever color it is, whatever brand, I will use it next.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Diversionary Project

I studied all day. I'm not sure if I learned anything. In fact, I may have officially forgotten everything that I learned in law school. But at some point, I gave up because I simply couldn't handle it anymore.

So I made this:
It came from and it was super-easy, super-fast, and and easy cable, which made it super-fun.

It will be on its way to Leah on Monday. I had read this book about Starbucks:
and one of the things that the company was concerned about was the environmental effects of using all of the cardboard that they did. Having the coffee at a certain temperature is key to the enjoyment of the coffee, but it was so hot that people were using two cups so they could hold it. And then the company made the coffee sleeves so that it wasted less paper. I like this because it's even more environmentally friendly! This way, Leah will keep it in her purse, and when she treats herself to Starbucks, she'll use this instead of a cardboard sleeve every time. I'm quite excited about it - all of my friends and family may be getting these as their next presents...

Here are a few more pictures of the coffee cup sleeve:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In homage to William Carlos Williams

This is just to say

I am still here
on the planet
and in the existential sense.

The bar exam is approaching
in fifty-one days.
Forgive me,
There has been no knitting.

A link to the original, one of my favorite poems ever:

PS - for some reason, it's not actually linking. But I have to get back to my studying for evidence, so you're all on your own to copy and paste. In august, I'll fix it ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Friday, I graduated. It was a remarkable day. It's been a phenomenal weekend, all around. But no time for knitting. That's for sure. I did ask for some various knitting stuff (including lessons at Patricia's Yarns) and people didn't get the knitting stuff for me. I'm sort of surprised... At some point, I'll get to knitting again. But not too much between now and the end of July when I take the bar.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bryant Park: A non-knitting post

A few pictures from my stroll down sixth avenue this morning.

The magnificent Empire State Building

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Maju Tank Top -- a perfect fit!

I finished Mom's tank top in plenty of time for Mother's Day and gave it to her yesterday. She was *so* excited about it. I made her try it on right away and it was a perfect fit.
Not too much more to say about it... I'm just glad that I didn't have to rip it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Finished with Law School

Three years. Gone. Done. I don't know how I feel about it yet. But it is what it is. And I'm going to go with that for a while...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Patricia's Yarns in Hoboken

This afternoon, I went to Patricia's Yarns in Hoboken (Fourth Street & Washington for anyone who wants to visit). I've been there before, but just to buy yarn a few times. When I went in, there were a bunch of people in the store, just hanging out, knitting. It was fantastic. Patricia herself was out of town this weekend, but her husband Adam and their dog Riley were manning the store. Margaux helped me find the perfect yarn for the tank top that I wanted to make for my mom. It's blue sky alpaca yarn in the thistle color. I love it. Look how inviting it looks in the adorable (and environmentally-friendly-because-it-is-so-strong) Patricia's Yarns bag:

And how gorgeous is the yarn itself???

Here's a closeup:
At Margaux's suggestion, I did a gauge swatch. It's a good thing, too, because the yarn I originally chose would have been much too small. Apparently, I am a very tight knitter. The pattern called for size 8 needles and the thinner yarn. I wound up working on size 9 needles and this much thicker yarn.

I'm excited about the tank top! The yarn is so soft and fabulous to work with!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yes. It's Saturday night. It's 9:20 pm. Do you know where your yarn princess is?? Yes. That's right -- in the library. Boy oh boy do I love finals...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Times Square Shuffle Revisited

For those of you who thought I was kidding:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Change of Plans

I decided that I am not going to be able to finish the Asherton purple scarf by Monday afternoon, both due to all of the studying that I have to do this weekend and due to the fact that it is Passover this weekend and my time will really not be much my own. So I picked up another ball of the lilac color and started to make just a 2x2 rib on size 5 needles. I figure I can sort of fly through that a little bit. I think I will be able to finish it by Monday. And then I can always give her the other one later if I finish it. I think the Asherton scarf really is so pretty, and would hate the work I have done on it to go to waste, but I just don't think it's going to be finished by Monday. Maybe if it weren't finals time...

This morning, I also made sugar cookies because a few of us were all going to have our last day of work. The cookies were because my one friend wanted "Last Day of Work Cake." I didn't have all of the ingredients in the house for a cake, but I did have the ingredients for these cookies. They are quite possibly the easiest cookies I've ever made and I just love the way they all crinkled. They're crispy on the outside and nice and smushy in the middle. And everyone who tasted them loved them. Not what I should have been doing this morning, but it worked out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hugs on the 2 Train

I got my Smile Cards in the mail on Thursday of last week. There were ten of them. In much the same way that my mom always used to say my brother’s birthday money would be “burning a hole in his pocket,” the Smile Cards were truly burning a hole in my pocket. I found myself thinking about them – to whom would I give them, what would I say, would I have to create a reason, or would one present itself? As of yesterday, I still hadn’t given even one Smile Card away. It was frustrating me, and I was thinking that I might just not be looking hard enough for the right SO (Smile Opportunity). Then yesterday, when I went into the post office to mail my taxes (I’d only been carrying them around with me for 10 days…) the woman working there, finding herself confronted with a long line of people, was, well, not her usual bubbly self. I handed her one and said, “I know people must be driving you crazy this time of year – whenever they do, you can look at this and it can help make you feel better.” I felt okay about that SO, but it wasn’t phenomenal. I was wondering if maybe I wasn’t doing something right.

But then, this morning happened. I entered the 2 train at 72nd Street, and grabbed onto the middle pole. The train was crowded, with many people standing, but it wasn’t packed, certainly no one was squished into the car or holding a flat palm against the ceiling in the hopes of anchoring themselves. A woman got on and was holding onto the pole near the seats and a man got on behind her. There was plenty of room for him to hold onto that pole, or the pole to which I was attached, or the pole to the left of him. For whatever reason, though, he thought this woman should have moved so he could get further into the train and could hold onto a pole on the opposite side of the car. He was curmudgeon-y (though not all that old) and kept mumble-yelling at her. I couldn’t hear what he actually said. She was able to move and he pushed through, knocking her into the walls of the train car and he moved through and away. Another young man and I tried to chuckle with her and roll our eyes at the nerve of people on the subway to kind of make it all better. “It’s just been that kind of morning,” the woman said. “Well,” I said, reaching into my bag and pulling out a Smile Card, “maybe this can help make it a little better.” The woman was visibly moved. She showed it to the man, and I reached in and grabbed one for him as well. He said he was going to get some to give to all of his friends. She said she was going to buy them right away. They were both so excited about “I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” she said, and she hugged me. A random person hugged me. On the 2 train. In New York City. I didn’t pay her bills or give her food or shelter or clothing. I didn’t do anything to change the problems in her life, or eliminate them in any way. And yet, she told me it made her day. Which of course, made mine.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm bored with my blog

I'm not bored with the content of my blog, though I feel now like I have been working on this purple scarf for a while and because it's a scarf you can't really tell too much about the progress. As a result, I feel like it isn't really worth taking new pictures of it and posting them. But maybe I'll take some later. The real boredom with the site, though, seems to be the design. I feel like I need to shake it up a little bit -- maybe even just change the color scheme. But maybe later. I guess this is me just feeling antsy before finals... Two weeks left of classes (officially 14 classes left in my law school career) and then it's finals, and the bar. But you know, one step at a time.

And, randomly, I'm craving milk.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Knit Your Own Karma

I was poking around on IMDB and eventually found myself on a page for a movie called "Knit Your Own Karma." It doesn't appear to be anything like what I would think it would be for that title. Apparently, it's something more like a bleak future world. But I liked the title. It seems to go much more with the Smile Cards that I got in the mail yesterday.

I ordered the Smile Cards after seeing the post on Steph's blog, "Girl Meets Yarn" about her random acts of kindness. I guess I was sort of on the lookout for good things to be able to do. Wednesday morning, my friend said she wasn't feeling well. She had been sick since the weekend, and was really feeling terrible. When she went into her office, one of her co-workers said, "You don't look that bad." What she wanted was sympathy, she said. What she wanted was for someone to offer to get her chicken soup. So I called a local deli near her office and had them send her chicken noodle soup, a sandwich and a soda. She was very excited about it.

What's your good deed of the day?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Humbling Knitting: It Helps to Read the WHOLE Pattern

Yeah. So I'm an idiot. The reason that my version of the scarf didn't work was that I had apparently only written down half of the pattern. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it and why my pattern didn't look the way the original one did. Yeah. This would be why. D'oh!

Before I figured it out, though, I tried it on size 4 needles, thinking maybe that would make the difference. I then realized that I had done it wrong, and ultimately decided to do it on the size 8s once I did it the right way. I liked it on the 4s, but the needles are *really* small if I want to be able to finish it in time to give it to my friend before the end of finals (and actually study for my finals, too...)

This is the pattern on the size 4s:
Ironically, I guess because of the way the photographs are, I don't know that you can actually tell the difference between the size four needles (above) and the size 8s (below).

This is what the pattern is supposed to look like. I like it a lot more now that I did it the right way...
Also, I still think this pattern really deserves a darker color. Someday, maybe if I ever make anything for myself... A nice solid dark in a bamboo, cotton or silk would be nice, on small needles. But I think when I do really spend the money and make something for myself, it should be more than a scarf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Times Square Shuffle

So I was in the city the other day and I saw a sign that said, "Seventh Avenue flyover not in operation -- use the Times Square Shuffle." And I thought it was a misprint -- that it was supposed to be the Times Square Shuttle (which isn't really a shuttle, but there's a shuttle (the gray 'S' train) that goes between Times Square and Grand Central). But apparently, no, there is a new traffic pattern that the city is calling the "Times Square Shuffle." Next time I'm there, I'm taking a picture of the sign.

I still think it sounds like the name of a band...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Up Close & Personal

I feel like I need a macro lens to accurately take pictures of my knitting. I don't know why I can capture a hummingbird sucking the nectar out of a bird of paradise but I can't seem to accurately convey the detail of the knitting.

This scarf, like so much that I have been doing recently, comes from SMarieKnits. Surprise, surprise -- most of the patterns I have been doing lately have been hers. They're fantastic. Easy patterns that look complex and fancy, but that I can actually manage to work my way through.

This is the Asherton Scarf.
However, it doesn't look anything like hers. :( I know that's not a prerequisite in a scarf, but I chose the Asherton because I liked the way it looks. I wonder if mine might look more like the prototype if it were done on smaller needles. The problem isn't so much that it needs to look like the original as that I don't know if I like it the way it is. And so I ask your opinions:

1. Should this be on smaller needles?
2. Should this be narrower (it's nearly 6.5" wide now, which would probably be helped by smaller needles.
3. Is this the right pattern for this color (the color requested by my friend) or does this pattern look too much like a baby blanket in this light lilac)?
4. If not this pattern, any suggestions for a free, easy-ish pattern like this one?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Big Blue Wrecking Crew

Firstly, I think that someone far more talented than I should create a crew-neck sweater and call it "Big Blue Wrecking Crew." The extent of the title's relevance to me, though, is just a scarf.

Andrew had originally asked for a scarf in "Giant's Blue." He then changed his mind and decided that he needed more of a tannish mustardy color because then he could wear it all the time. But I decided that he shouldn't be deprived of having a scarf for during the football season, too. So I made him this, in Giant's Blue (also known as "Red Head Blue" or alternatively "Olympic Blue" in other earlier posts). It's just a five by five waffle knit, and I'm almost done with it. It's been a nice easy fast knit. I'm debating whether or not to block and iron it. I like the bumps of the waffle knit itself but I don't necessarily love the way the edges look. They're a little un-finished looking. Granted, I don't know if they'll be any better if I do block it.

And then I'll find more black yarn in my stash and get to finishing Matt's Rutgers scarf. After the bar, I'll think about making something more complex. But not until then. Until then, I may or may not make anything, but if I do, certainly nothing more complex than like a 2x2 rib scarf...