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Ms. Knits: April 2005

Saturday, April 30

What I've learned in law school...

As I sit here trying to force myself to study, it strikes me that I don't remember a single thing that I've learned this semester. In fact, I don't remember much law from the previous three years of law school either. Ack! The last three years has been a waste of time! I can't remember anything that I've learned. This can't be good.

Wait... it's slowly coming back to me... I have learned a few things:
1. The J-Lo rule for exam taking: Always include a big BUT in your exam answer! (get it... J-Lo... big butt... hah!) This was my first year property professor's way of getting us to analyze both sides of every issue. Hilarious, especially coming from an openly gay man who loved to sing us show tunes to teach case law. (the best law professor I've had so far, by a long shot!)

2. When you stay in a hotel room, the first thing you should do is grab a tissue in each hand and remove the bedspread from the bed, carefully, without touching it, and place it in the most remote corner of the room. A practical tidbit of advice from my evidence professor, who prosecutes sex crimes for the DA's office. He told stories about what is really on those bedspreads and how infrequently they get washed (never). Scary. 'Nuf said.

3. Never lie to the Feds. If you do, they will put you in prison. A good lesson from my corporations professor, who entertained the class with an entire class period of analysis on the Martha Stewart case.

That's it! All I've learned in the last three years... or at least the most important things. Wow - I really do need to start studying!

Oh, and knitting content... I took an AWESOME knitting class this morning (heh - there is NOTHING quite like knitting-related procrastination!), sponsored by the local guild and taught by Lorna of Lorna's Laces fame. Lorna is so creative and shared some really great ideas with the class. I learned some neat things, and made some cute items that are to be gifted, so no pictures for now. Also took a study break this afternoon and went to Babetta's Yarn grand opening sale and got some Frog Tree fingering weight alpaca to make the paisley shawl from the IK spring 05 issue. Ahhh... more procrastination! Now, back to my community property outline... yuck.

Monday, April 25

VK Seed Stitch Shell

The back of the seed stitch shell is finally finished. It actually went pretty quickly, it just seems to take forever when I only get to work on it for a few minutes here and there. I didn't run into any major problems while knitting it - the pattern is right on. I decided to make the selvedge stitches all knit stitches rather than seed stitch - the pattern didn't specify what to do. I think it makes for a nice, finished looking edge. Not that it matters, since I will be seaming it eventually anyway!

Here's a picture of it in its present, unblocked state.

Here's a look at the seed stitch up close. It works well for this yarn (Katia Pisco), and makes a nice, spongy, lightweight fabric.

I can't wait to finish up the front and try it on! But, that won't happen for a few more weeks, thanks to finals. In 21 days (and after 4 finals and a paper), I'll be done with another semester, with only one more to go!

Thursday, April 21

Need a distraction?

I'm sure that you've all seen the new & improved Google Maps with satellite view feature by now. If you are too impatient to go searching for interesting sights for yourself, here's a cool new blog that I found that does all of the legwork for you. Every day, Google Sightseeing posts satellite images of interesting places in the US and beyond.

Here are a couple of neat places near where I live: (click on the picture to see a larger view in Google Maps)

Ah-nold's office:

Raley Field, home of the Sacramento Rivercats:

Updated to add:
I think this would make a fun meme. So, I'm going to ask three people from places I've never visted to show me a couple of places near where they live... Cathy, Stephanie, and Christine - Show me your sights using Google Maps Satellite Images, and pass this on!!

Wednesday, April 20

A quick update...

Ack - so much work & school, so little time! My knitting has been neglected this week, and I haven't made much progress on anything.

I did find a handy new knitting gadget last week - a Timbuk2 clear zip pouch.

Finding it was totally random. I had lunch with DH at his company's headquarters last Wednesday (fun!), and after lunch we went to the company store, where I found this nifty pouch. It is the perfect size for my knitting tools - stitch markers, point protectors, scissors, tape measure, gauge, etc. And it fits perfectly into my sheep-less felted sheep tote.

Timbuk2 also has some neat tote bags that look like they would make good knitting bags. And I'd love to get a messenger bag for my laptop. DH got himself one, and it is really nice!

Over the weekend I managed to get the back of my seed stitch shell nearly done. I've got a couple more inches to go, and will post pictures this weekend. It is coming along nicely so far.

I also started swatching for a baby blanket that I plan to knit for one of my friends. Her baby shower is in mid-May, and the blanket will not be done by then. Hopefully I can finish it by July, when she is due! Baby blankets aren't much fun to knit, but I wanted to make a special gift that would get used. I'm using Plymouth Encore, because I thought it would hold up well to wear & tear. I like the yarn a lot so far, for a 75/25 acrylic/wool blend. It is fairly soft and the swatch is looking pretty good. I'm just going to do a simple stockinette/reverse stockinette/seed stitch block pattern (from one of my knitting books...) with a garter stitch border.

And in not-so-fun random events, the electricity went out this morning before I could blow dry my hair. Argh. I don't remember the last time I left the house without blow drying my hair. If I don't straighten my hair or dry it with a diffuser, it is not a good situation. Children and small animals are frightened of me. DH's suggestion: wear a baseball cap to work. Um yeah, to a law firm. With my slacks and sweater set. Riiight! Thank goodness for ponytails!

Tuesday, April 12

I passed!

My big news of the day is that I found out that I passed the MPRE exam, which I took just over a month ago. Woohoo! I was a little worried, because it was one of those tests that I walked out of and thought "aw, crap - guess I'll be retaking that in August." But, thanks to the gods of the weighted score I managed to pass with flying colors. That is one less thing for me to stress about.

Haven't had much time for knitting lately. School is kicking my butt right about now. I managed to get about halfway through the back of my lime green VK seed stitch shell over the weekend, but won't be touching it again until Friday. No pictures, but it is coming along nicely so far. The seed stitch is *killing* me though. Having to complete two throwing motions (English style) for each stitch seriously slows me down. But the fabric is turning out really nice and drapey. (is that a word?) I think I'm going to like it when it is finished.

The one thing that is keeping me from going insane with the seed stitch is my fabulous new Addi turbos. Why, oh why, did I not get these needles sooner? From now on, it is only Addis for me! After one row with the Addis, I was ready to get rid of burn my Clover bamboo circs. I like knitting with bamboo needles, but the cord on the clovers is so inflexible that I spend more time wrestling with the cord than knitting.

As I move from newbie knitter to intermediate, I keep learning more about what I like and don't like when it comes to knitting... here's a few examples:
Like Dislike
circulars (and DPNs are OK too). LOVE Addis! straight needles
natural fibers (wool, wool blends, cotton, etc) most acrylics, unless blended with a natural fiber or very soft to the touch... some novelty yarns are OK.
working with complicated stitch patterns, things that challenge me or teach me something new acres and acres of stockinette (or seed stitch or ribbing)
frogging because I figured out a different/better way to do something frogging because I made a silly mistake
knitting with small-ish needles (7 or less) knitting with honking huge needles (10.5 or more)

That's all for me tonight. Now off to read some mind numbingly boring enthralling cases from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. I'm sure those will put me to sleep in no time.

Thursday, April 7

National No Housework Day!

Thanks to my secret pal, I found out that April 7 is National No Housework Day! For me, most days are no housework days, but at least today I won't have to feel guilty about it. :)

Monday, April 4

Socks, socks, and an iPod cozy

I have been consumed by socks lately! For some reason, I can't bring myself to finish my second psychedelic Firefighter's sock.

I think it is the yarn... the Stahl Big Print wool is bright and fun, but it gives me a headache to look at it for too long! Yes, it really is as bright as this picture. And it doesn't help that my Pony Pearl DPNs are the SAME color as the sock. I didn't do that on purpose, honest!

I have serious second sock syndrome, and have heard that the Yarn Harlot addresses this in her bookbookbook. I'm dying to get my hands on a copy of it, but haven't had time to go to the local B&N to see if they've got it in stock.

So, instead of finishing the first pair of socks that I started (like a good knitter would), I went ahead and started my second pair of socks. (Ribbed socks from VK Socks2 book, with Stahl Fortissima Socka)

Silly me! I won't get the ribbed pair finished until sometime next year, I'm sure! But I'm having fun with it anyway. It is my first pair of top-down socks, and I used the twisted German cast on, which is really, really stretchy! (and easy too!)

I really liked making the heel on this sock. It was a lot more fun to do a heel flap and gusset shaping than the simple short row heel of the toe-up sock. Hopefully it will fit well too!

While working (slowly) on both of these pairs of socks, I heard the call of some lovely red Manos from my knitting bag... "Cyndi, you must knit me... touch me... I am irresistible..." Seriously, my Manos said that to me. So, I couldn't help but whip up this awesome iPod cozy for Fred (that's my iPod).

Grumperina designed this pattern, and it was a fun, quick knit. It is by FAR the best knit iPod case pattern that I've seen so far, because it allows access to the scroll wheel while still protecting the screen. I made one minor modification to the pattern to allow access to the hold switch on the top of the iPod. I still need to sew on the plastic screen protector and some buttons, and stitch everything together (it is really rolling up right now, but will fit perfectly when the side seams are stitched up). The problem is that sewing on the screen protector requires removing my sewing maching from the closet... I'm not sure that will happen anytime soon! I don't even remember where my sewing maching is - that could be a problem. More pics when my sewing machine comes out of hiding and I get the case finished!

In other knitting news, I ordered some Katia Pisco from in Waterfall and Lime to make the Seed Stitch Shell from VK, and it came today! Unfortunately I won't be home until Friday to play with it. Why do my knitting goodies always show up in the mail on Monday?

Today is also my birthday - the big 2-9. Woohoo! For my b-day gift, my wonderful hubby ordered me the large Sew E-Z blocking board, which should arrive in time for me to block my first sweater section, AND he got me my first two pairs of Addi turbos, in size 3 & 5, to make the VK tennis sweater. Yay!! All in all, a great birthday. Well, aside from the work thing, and the school thing, which together consumed the vast majority of my day. But still, it was a pretty good day. I can't wait to buy the yarn and get started on the tennis sweater with my new needles. I must try to resist the call of the Cotton Cashmere for a few more weeks though - I really do need to start studying for finals!