Monday, September 11, 2017

Cold hands, fast needles

There comes a time in every knitter's life when their friends and family accept knitting as a way of life.  They see nothing unusual in factoring in a stop to one or more yarns stores as a vacation destination.  They are accustomed to balls of yarn lying about the house, attached to a set of two or more needles and something in progress.  They think it is normal to have emergency knitting in your purse, and to knit in public. My sweetie doesn't even blink when I pull out knitting IN A BAR.  My friends, I have achieved this level of saturation of muggles into the knitting universe.   And now I realize that it is not without a price.  They ask you to knit for them. 

My brother keeps mentioning the Smittens he requested over a year ago.  My sweetie has resigned that he may never receive the convertible mittens I started over two years ago.  (Finished one set, with a major flaw, ripped out and re-started, using better yarn, since I had to restart anyway.)  The usual Teacher Mitts are going to be due soon.  And now Aunt Joyce, when hearing about the Teacher Mitts, though they sounded cute, and started hinting about a set for her. 

And everyone wants their mittens by this winter.  No pressure.  Don't they realize that I only have  nine more inches on a lovely lace shawl?  There are only so many hours in a day that I can devote to knitting. 

Today, it is all about the knitworthy family members. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Simplicity

I am not sure if I have been experiencing an unexpected bout of knitting monogamy, or if I have just been so busy with the lawyer thing that leaves no spare brain cells for complicated knitting. Either way, I have been mostly working on Simplicity. The very simple shawl, made from the aptly-named Shawl in a Ball yarn.  Asymmetrical, long color change. This is the tire store yarn, and it is easier to pick up a garter stitch shawl.

This one will be done very soon, then I will have to think about my knitting again.

Today, it is all about
The plain knitting.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SHIPs, SIPs, and other WIPs

There were only two of us at Knittervention this week.  Quite the contrast from the large crowd we had last time.  Still, it was nice to chat with Sarah one on one. She had two finished shawls to show off, and I was working on the final foot of Celtic Sage. 

I don't know what put me in the mood for confessions (I only had the one Magners!), but I admitted that I had a LOT of things in progress.  Three SHIPs (shawls in progress), two SIPs (socks in progress), and other WIPs (works in progress.)  I admitted that my number was double digits, and she asked if the first number was "1" or "2".  The answer was "1", but I am not 100% certain of its accuracy.  I haven't been updating my list of WIPs lately, either adding new projects, or crossing off the finished ones.  (There may or may not have been any to cross off, but I am optimistic.)  There was no way I was going to admit to 20+ projects going, even if it was true.  Even by knitter standards, that is just crazy. 

I don't mind double digits, because some thing don't (or at least shouldn't) count.  Some things are multiple items.  For instance, I am making placemats for the kitchen.  I finished three before I noticed that my kitchen colors have been slowly changing, and started with new yarn (which I am actually loving a lot more than the old yarn), and the first one in the new yarn is well underway.    Fourth placemat in progress, and nothing crossed off. 

The Elegant Ensemble included ear band, mitts, and a scarf.  I can cross that off the list, unless I decide to do a hat as well. 

Dishcloths:  I love cotton knitted dishcloths, they just seem to work so much better than a traditional dishrag.  But they wear out, so I always have a couple stray balls of cotton and Size 7 needles around in case of emergency, and usually one in progress as well.  I need to have a regular supply.  Again, dishcloths completed, but nothing crossed off the list. 

There are also a few things are ready for the frogpond, and I just have to be in the mood to sit down and start ripping.  Pattern didn't match the yarn, not liking how it is turning out, that sort of things.

And one or two that have barely cast on.  If I haven't knit at least a few inches, it really shouldn't count. 

Hey, if I start subtracting all the things that shouldn't count, the list doesn't seem unreasonably long anymore. 

If am being perfectly honest with myself ,there are definitely things that have languished too long at the bottom of the basket.  We won't talk about those. 

Today, it is all about the long list. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Caught!

Yesterday, I noticed that my yarn had mysteriously snapped. I tied a knot and kept going, puzzled at how the yarn could have broken. Was it on one of the rides at the county fair? The Ferris Wheel is pretty tame, but the Scrambler has quite the centripetal force. My knitting my was in my purse during the rides, but it was possible. I simply could think of any other possibility.

Tonight, the culprit was identified. The vacuum cleaner, guided by my sweetie. Just when I thought I had trained him to be the perfect knit husband, he gets too close to yarn while vacuuming and let's a ball of yarn get sucked into the Dyson. Has he learned nothing in ten years of marriage? Back to the drawing board.

Today, it is all about the suction.

The Remedy for the Soul-Sucking Court

The Child in Need of Services court can be a rough gig. The victories are few and far between, and the cases are heartbreaking. To be court appointed in these cases, you have to complete special training, and have already done the most serious type of trial (Termination of Parental Rights) at least as second chair. That is what I was supposed to be doing today. Someone was following me as second chair
 for the trial, and we were ready. She has reviewed the exhibits, and we selected a couple witnesses for her to cross examine. There was a procedural issue, so we had to continue it a few months out.

Since my morning was unexpectedly free, we hid away in an unused jury room, and I gave her a quick summary of common procedure for this court.  Among my general words of wisdom (I hope), I also pointed out my recipe for preserving mental health with repeated exposure in that court. 1.  Don't work harder in the case than your client. If your client doesn't do the work towards reunification, nothing I say or do will make a difference, and 2. I knit.

Knitting makes me patient, and calms me. It allows my mind to rest, and produces pretty things I can wear or gift to those I deem knitworthy.

When I pulled out my knitting tonight, I couldn't help feeling betrayed by knitting.

Can someone explain how I managed to break the yarn?

Knitting, thou art a faithless bitch.

Today, it is all about the betrayal.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Simplicity

I love lace knitting, but it has a major disadvantage: ssssssllllooooowwww progress.  Lace shawls are breathtaking, but take FOR-EV-ER to knit.  I have been knitting Celtic Sage for over a year.  I am excited that I only have a foot to go, but a foot is still a lot of knitting. 

My husband needed his tires rotated and aligned.  Instead of going back and forth between home and the tire place a bunch of times, we decided to spend 45 minutes browsing in the strip mall.  He went to Gander Mountain and I went to Hobby Lobby.  While there, I was seduced by some gradient yarn.  It called to me, then jumped in my hand.  I walked back to the tire place (this all started with tires, remember?) hoping that my sweetie didn't notice the bag of yarn in my hand, or that my children didn't rat me out. 

So this week, I have been strangely obsessed about knitting this simple, asymmetrical, garter stitch piece of instant gratification. 

Today, it is all about the connection between tires and yarn. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

In the Most Unexpected of Places



I have been making some placemats for the kitchen.  My kitchen was white with sage green accents(with black appliances), so I found a long color changing yarn that had a pale lime green that I was considering close enough.  Three placemats later, I was still not in love with the yarn, but it was sufficient. 

Then I noticed something gradually shifting in my kitchen.  My husband changed the color scheme.  It started with a new red toaster, then a couple bowls, then a few new hand towels. By the time he brought a red replacement statula, the jig was up.  My kitchen was now white, red and black.  I don't know how that happened, but obviously it was time to start making different placemats. 
I still liked the idea of a twisted yarn, but I couldn't decide between red and white twist (would it look like a candy cane?) or red and black (would it look too dark?).  I figured I would make my decision depending on what I came across first.  I tried the usual places, but nothing seemed to work. 
Then I tried Jo Ann Fabrics, of all places.  There, in a pile of neon orange, dull mousy brown and other mill ends, was the perfect yard.  A red, black and white twist!  Not Christmas-y at all!  Nine skeins at dirt cheap prices.  I felt like I had won the yarn lottery.  How often do you find the perfect yarn on clearance?                                                                                  I have started the first new placemat, though it will take a while before I have enough to use, much less a full set. 
Maybe the next house. 
Today, it is all about the hidden treasure. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Apologies

It has been a very long time since I have blogged. It has been a relatively long time since I gave knit. These two facts are likely related. I have been very stressed lately. These facts are likely cumulatively related. I apologize to my regular readers, both of them, and promise to do better.

I have been knitting. I have progress to share. I will post tomorrow, when I am not as tired, and can figure out why posting pictures from my phone actually links to MY phobe, and not random photos that I don't recognize and certainly aren't yarn.

Today, it is all about future promises.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

If There Was Ever Any Doubt

My knitting group is named Knittervention. "Because yarn is cheaper than therapy."  If I ever doubted the truth of those words, it was put to rest last night. I was a little tired, and a tightly wound pile of stress, but  it was the alternate Monday, and I didn't want to miss knitting.

I might be minimizing the tightly wound stress part. I was incredibly frazzled, distracted, one bad email away from causing bodily harm to someone. For days now, every time I did something at the office, it added three more things of the list to do. Also, the Courts have been slowly transitioning to electronic format. It started with receiving the court orders by email for civil cases.  Every day in the wee hours of the morning, I would receive a few emails from the automated system. That was manageable. Then a couple weeks ago, the juvenile court (where I have 75% of my cases) started doing the same thing, but in real time. Every sat, ten to fifteen court orders arrived throughout the day.

 The final step last week was the requirement of e-filing.  Instead of delivering motions to the court and physically stamping each document, everything is scanned and filed online as a PDF. I am sure I will like the concept eventually, right now, there is a steep learning curve. I have to learn to scan things, which requires getting my scanner/printer to be on speaking terms with my desktop. They had a falling out a couple months ago, and have only been grudgingly communicating through wifi as a mediator. I finally figured out how to scan, but now I don't know if can remember how to do it next time.

So, that was my mindset when I arrived last night. Two hours of lace knitting and pleasant conversation later, I felt more calm  and focused. I don't know why everyone doesn't knit. I know many other attorneys that would benefit from regular exposure to soft fibers.

Today's it is all about reaffirming the therapeutic value of fiber.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Re-Claiming

One of the yarns I bought last weekend was a half finished project.  A sweater, by the looks of it, neglected and unloved, with a couple other random balls of the same yarn.  I used this same yarn in my first attempt at lace.  Yarn this pretty doesn't deserve to languish half-finished, for all eternity. 
 
So I set about to reclaiming the yarn. 
 
I ripped out the sweater pieces.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I gave everything a nice cool bath. 
 
I hung it all up with a towel providing gentle weight, to straighten out the kinks. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I wound everything into new balls. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have 800 fresh yards of pretty yarn, ready for something new. 





 
Today it is all about giving pretty yarn new life. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Re-centering


A week ago, A judge lectured all the attorneys in a case to cool down, and start helping our clients in a case instead of keeping everyone all riled up.  On the walk back to the office, I did some thinking about how I could have handled myself differently in this case recently.  I thought that maybe I needed a personal re-aligning of my mind and spirit. 

That would be the point when I realized that while I had been knitting semi-regularly, I hadn't been WRITING about knitting.  Is this a vital part of my creative process?  Spouting on and on in a public forum about my fiber triumphs and disasters?  Is this really what my psyche had been missing?

Well, then I offer apologies to my inner Yarn Harlot and my two fans who have missed me, and pledge to do better. 

I also bought more yarn.  Can't go wrong there for a little pick me up.

Every other year, my local yarn store hosts a Customer Garage Sale.  Customers have a change to do some stash clearing: unloading the leftover balls from past projects, fibers/colors where the love has cooled, mistake purchases, and yarn where the very sight mocked your past failures.  Then the same customers scoop up these hidden treasures at bargain prices. 

This year was no exception.  A great big pile of lovely yarn. 

Today, it is all about the combination of fiber and  shopping therapy. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Injustice and Horror

Wednesday, I was looking forward to an important and controversial hearing. It was in Indianapolis, and the other attorney had volunteered to drive, so I was looking forward to a couple hours of passenger knitting, and the triumphant victory of this case.

Four hours later, the trial turned out be to the strangest I have ever experienced.  Unfortunately, the judge ended with a decision that still boggles my mind. In my twenty years as a lawyer, this week counted the third miscarriage of justice I have seen.

It was a very quiet ride home. I don't know if the other attorney was pissed, preoccupied or plotting the next step, but the mood was very subdued.

Then the knitting starting going downhill too. I was an inch along, but things just weren't looking right. This shouldn't have been hard, but somehow it was. The yarn was fingering, thin but not too thin. The pattern was lacey, but deceptively simple. Only a four row repeat, and two of them were purls. And, I HAD DONE THE PATTERN BEFORE. should have been a piece of cake. Instead, it has been plagued with problems. Casting on took four attempts, and now the whole thing looked like crap.

Then, I realized. I had written down the pattern incorrectly. Every fourth row was wrong right from the start!  Augh!  I had to rip the whole thing out and start over. For a fifth cast on attempt.

Today, it is all about double horror.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tink, tink, tink

I screwed up. I made a mistake three pattern rows ago on Celtic Sage. That is six rows ago total. I have thought about just dropping a few stitches down in those two spots, but it is too much to add that way, and the last time I tried, I screwed it up.

I am going to have to tink back. Six rows worth.  Row by row. Stitch by stitch.This required a glass of red wine, and chocolate. And I have only tinked half a row.

Kill me now.

Today, it is all about the reclamation.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Ball that Finally Ended

At Knittervention, I wanted to work on Celtic Sage.  I am still loving it, and getting so close to the halfway mark, I am getting impatient. 

But I had my briefcase knitting: the scarf from the Elegant Ensemble.  I only had a small loose ball of yarn before I was calling the scarf finished.  So I made a compromise with myself:  finish the last little bit on the scarf, and then I could knit lace.

An hour later, I still had that same small loose ball of yarn.  I had been knitting the entire time, but that ball was exactly the same size, or at least it seemed like it was.  A half hour later, slightly smaller, but still not finished.  Another half hour later, I finally cast off, just as it was time to leave.

I have a pretty scarf to match my fingerless mitts and ear warmer. 

And since then, I have finished a few more rows of Celtic Sage.  Only about 20 more rows till the halfway point.

Today, it is all about the static ball that finally disappeared.