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Ms. Knits: December 2005

Thursday, December 29

Irish Hiking Scarf

I guess I was further along on the Irish Hiking Scarf than I thought I was. When I took it out today, I held it up, and it was close to 72" long (maybe a little longer). So, I bound off and wove in the ends. I decided not to block it because it is nice and soft and squishy right now - the cables really pop.

Specs:
Pattern - Modified Irish hiking scarf. I didn't do the garter stitch edging, and instead did a 3 stitch stockinette edge, slipping the first stitch on each row. It made a nice smooth edge, just what I wanted. Also, I started and ended the cables earlier, which gave sort of a wavy effect on the ends of the scarf (the ribbing look of the original pattern didn't quite do it for me).
Yarn - Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran in a pinky lavender color. Soft and pretty. The yarn is a joy to knit, but I'm a little confused by its construction. It isn't plied - it seems to be a single ply of yarn woven (crocheted with chain stitch?) in a fine tube (you can see close up pics of the yarn at the link above) It gives a little different look/feel to the finished product than using a plied yarn.
Needles - Lantern Moon Ebony straight needles, size 8. The first time I've used straight needles in months, and the first time I've used wooden needles (as opposed to bamboo). And, surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I may have to start collecting a set of lantern moon needles now.
Notes - A fast (considering my limited knitting time) and fun knit. Hopefully it will be well received.

Wednesday, December 28

KR Secret Pal Revealed - Part 2 (or, a very belated thank you!)

This post is LONG overdue, as I opened the package over a week ago, but I have to say a great big, belated THANK YOU to the most awesome, generous, wonderful secret pal ever - Dani, of Yea, I Knit! As it turns out, Dani and I were each other's secret pals for the Knitter's Review bimonthly secret pal exchange! So, not only was Dani a gracious recipient of my gifts, she also did an amazing job of treating me to fun surprises every two months. Each package she sent was so thoughtful, I honestly could not have asked for a better secret pal.

My final reveal gift was amazing - two skeins of self-striping Lana Grossa sock yarn, one of wool in lovely shades of dark pinks and browns, and one of cotton (the same cotton as my stripey socks) in a fun sherbet colorway. As if that wasn't enough yarn, she also sent a bag (yes, an entire bag of 10 skeins, over 1000M!) of True Blue Cotton Denim Yarn in a cream color.


Um, Dani, when am I supposed to knit all of this up???

Also included in the package were some cute pins, two "C" notepads and a knitting themed notepad, a christmas decoration, some yummy scented soaps, and the coolest thing of all - Annie Modesitt's book "Knitting Millinery", which has patterns for 5 knit old-fashioned wire brimmed hats... very intriguing. That's one of the best things about secret pals - they send you fun things that you'd never have found on your own!

And, so concludes my secret pal experience. I had a lot of fun participating - both on the giving end and the receiving end - and am thrilled to have "met" Dani, an awesome gal whom I will likely remain friends with for a long time to come. In fact, my KR secret pal experience was so great, I think I'll conclude my participation in secret pal exchanges with that, and go out on a high note.

In other news, I haven't accomplished much knitting, and am still plugging away at the Irish Hiking scarf that is now a belated christmas gift for a good friend. Thankfully she's going through the same bar prep trauma that I am, so she understands my tardiness with her gift! I've been in classes most of the day on 8 out of the last 11 days, which is ironically more than I had class when I was in school. Homework takes up the majority of each evening, although I try to knit or read a chapter or two of a good book for a few minutes every night. (Carl Hiaasen is my favorite mindless, easy-read author of late - definitely check out Skinny Dip if you haven't already... it's hilarious!)

Thursday, December 15

Done!

WOOHOO! Happy Dance! No more law school for me! Now I just need to pack up the few things I have left in my rental place, and head for home. YAY!!! No more nasty commute. No more being away from home 5 days a week. No more forgetting which city my shoes are in. No more forgetting which city my knitting is in! No more hauling 50lbs of books around every day. And most importantly, no more spending 6-9pm every night of the week in classes. Yeah, I still have the bar to study for, which tempers the excitement a little, but at least I will be home, at last!

Tuesday, December 13

24 hours and counting...

24 hours until I'm done with law school. Wow. I kind of thought that this day would never come. I'm guessing that tomorrow will be the longest day ever, which is good, because I need every second I can get to finish studying for my Criminal Procedure exam tomorrow night. :)

Friday, December 9

Answer to a Frieda question, and a random row counting tip

Rebecca left a comment on one of my Frieda posts today asking a pattern question:

"I couldn't understand part of the instructions, would appreciate if you can help me out. On the back, after the ribs are knitted, when the increase starts, I can't quite figure out what the book means by 'Cont in st st, inc in this way at each end of 5 foll 6th rows', can you explain what the '5 foll 6th row' mean? thanks again. "

Since Blogger comments are lame and give me no way to contact my commenters (sorry commenters!), I thought I'd post a response and hope that Rebecca sees it.

These instructions were not exactly clear to me the first time I read them either. What it really means is increase every 6th row, for a total of five more increase rows. Note that this means five increase rows in addition to the first increase row you have already knit.

So, here's what you have:

Row 1: First increase row (Right Side) [this is the first increase row in the instructions]
Row 2: Purl straight (Wrong Side)
Row 3: Knit straight (RS)
Row 4: Purl straight (WS)
Row 5: Knit straight (RS)
Row 6: Purl straight (WS)
Row 7: Increase row (RS) [1 of 5 additional increase rows]
Rows 8-12: Knit straight on RS rows, Purl straight on WS rows
Row 13: Increase row (RS) [2 of 5 additional increase rows]
Rows 14-18: Knit straight on RS rows, Purl straight on WS rows
Row 19: Increase row (RS) [3 of 5 additional increase rows]

Continue in this way until you have completed all 5 additional increase rows for a total of six increase rows. Count your stitches to make sure you have the right number when you get to the end of the increase section!

Here's a trick I use to keep track of the number of rows between increases so that I'm not constantly counting to keep track of what row I'm on... On the second stitch (or any stitch will do) of each increase row, I wrap a spare piece of contrasting yarn around one of the stitches to mark the row. I do this by holding the yarn in front of my knitting, passing the yarn between the needles from front to back before the stitch I want to wrap, knitting the stitch, and bringing the yarn between the needles back to the front of the work before knitting the next stitch.

I don't have a camera to show how to do this, but you can see my handy method of row counting in this picture:


It's kind of hard to tell, but each zig-zag of the contrast yarn marks a 4 row repeat for my Tivoli decreases. This is a lot easier than having to actually find your increases/decreases and count all of your rows as you work!

Rebecca, if you read this, please let me know if it helped. And commenters - I'd be happy to e-mail responses to comments, but Blogger won't let me... so sorry! If you leave your e-mail address in the comment itself (not in the field in the comment form), I'll be able to respond to your comment personally.

Thursday, December 8

Ode to procrastination

Because I don't particularly feel like studying for my exam tomorrow, you get to read this...

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. My name is Cyndi, not Cynthia or Cindy. (creative parents - gotta love 'em!)
2. I prefer even numbers. I'm pretty extreme about it. I don't know what I would do if I ever got a license plate number that was odd. I'd have to buy a new car. My house number is odd, but I took that into consideration when we bought the house and I've come to terms with it.
3. I eat my pancakes with butter (no syrup), french toast with maple syrup, and waffles with blueberry or strawberry syrup
4. I stink at trivial pursuit because I don't know anything about sports, history, or pop culture. The only pie piece I ever get is science/technology.
5. I played the lead role in my elementary school musical when I was in 4th grade. That is the only time I have ever sung in public. I think I only got the part because I had all the lines memorized before the auditions.
6. I love doing brainteasers and puzzles, especially ones that involve math or logic
7. I've eaten duck tongue (yuck) & frog legs (yum)
8. I've taken classes in Spanish (2 years), Russian (2 years), and Indonesian (1 semester), but sadly am not fluent in any of them
9. My first car was an orange 1980 Buick Century. My friends nicknamed it "the Pimpmobile." It was a great car. Ugly, though. When I graduated from college, my sister inherited it from me.
10. The first time I ever went in the ocean I got caught in a riptide and almost drowned off of Kuta Beach in Bali. I ended up over 1km from the shore and was rescued by two surfers from Indonesia and one surfer from Australia.

NINE places I’ve visited:
1. Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali)
2. Malaysia
3. Singapore
4. Seoul, South Korea (and the DMZ)
5. Taipei, Taiwan
6. Tokyo, Japan
7. Hong Kong
8. Shenzhen, China
9. Israel

EIGHT Ways to Win My Heart:
1. Cook me dinner. And clean up afterward.
2. Compliment me
3. Take me shopping
4. Be patient with me
5. Sing me a silly song
6. Scratch my leg with your paw and look up at me with your big puppy dog eyes, begging to be petted. (yeah, you've got to be a dog for this one)
7. Remember my particular breakfast requirements
8. Chocolate. Or flowers. Or both. :)

SEVEN Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
1. Become fluent in another language
2. Learn to play the piano
3. Travel to Europe and Australia and around the US
4. Live on an acreage in the country
5. Learn how to use my camera properly (i.e. not in auto mode all the time!)
6. Learn to SCUBA dive
7. Compete in a triathlon

SIX Things I'm Afraid Of:
1. Failing
2. Spiders
3. Woodticks
4. Having surgery of any kind
5. Being pregnant/experiencing childbirth
6. Needles

FIVE Things I Don't like:
1. Bad drivers
2. My toenails
3. Going shopping for jeans
4. Living 12 feet from my next door neighbor
5. Being stressed all the time

FOUR Ways to Turn Me Off:
1. Don’t be accountable for your actions
2. Talk down to me/assume that I'm stupid because I'm a girl
3. Be lazy
4. Be irresponsible

THREE Things I do Everyday:
1. Straighten my hair
2. Check my e-mail
3. Count the months/weeks/days/hours/minutes until I'm done with school and can move back home (8 days!!!!!!)

TWO Things that make me happy:
1. Finishing something that I've set out to do
2. Cuddling with my husband and/or my dogs

ONE Thing on my mind right now:
1. Why the heck did I take a Family Law class this semester? What a dumb idea. What was I thinking? My final is in 27 hours. I have no idea how I'm going to pass. I should probably start studying.

Monday, December 5

Stressed

Thank goodness for knitting. Once again finals are quickly approaching, and once again I'm in a foul mood. I stayed at work until after 10pm tonight to study and was super cranky when I finally got home. So I pulled out my knitting and worked on Irish Hiking Scarf v2.o (pinkish lavender Louisa Harding yarn - it's lovely, and very soft) while listening to some music. I spent about an hour and a half on it trying to relax (it helped a little), and now I need to get to bed, but for some reason I can't sleep. I can't stop thinking about finals, and I don't know why. I'm not super nervous about them this semester, it is just a royal pain in the rear to have them hanging over my head.

The more I think about finals, the more upset I get that I even have to take them. After all, I've been doing this law school thing for three and a half years now, and I'm pretty sure I get it. The odds that I'll do poorly on an exam are pretty slim (although, I shouldn't speak too soon, considering the limited number of times I've opened some of my books this semester). And even if I DO do poorly, I can get straight Cs or even a C- or two and still graduate in the top 10% of my class, which doesn't mean anything to anyone anyway. But they won't just give you bad grades if you ask (I did), you actually have to take the stinking exams to make sure you really deserve them. Grrr. What a waste of time.

What I really need is time to finish up a few loose ends at work, do some Christmas shopping, and take a mental vacation before I start studying for the real thing. You know, that silly little test that the former dean of Stanford law school who just happens to be one of the country's most renowned Constitutional law scholars failed. Granted, she admittedly didn't study, but still, how can the bar *not* admit her? Is there any concern at all that she is not competent to practice law in California? Because surely if she had been able to recite the Rule Against Perpetuities (or some other obscure and trivial point of law totally unrelated to her practice) she would be a better and more competent lawyer. Right. Things like this really make me doubt our entire legal system. Maybe someday I'll come back and read this post and decide to try to do something about it. There has to be a better way to administer both law school and the legal profession as a whole.

Anyway, that's enough of a rant for today. I know school will be over soon (10 days!!!!!!), I just have to suck it up and get it over with, and I can totally do that. Now, if I can just get some sleep...

Friday, December 2

Good news!

I passed! Woohoo! Now, time to start studying for law school exams. The fun never ends around here.

Thursday, December 1

Knitter's Review Secret Pals Revealed - Part 1

Drumroll, please....

The person to whom I was fortunate enough to be a Knitter's Review bi-monthly secret pal was Dani (Yea, I Knit). Whoever matched us up initially did a great job, and I had a fabulous time being her pal. Go check out her blog, her fabulous knitting, and her yummy recipes (seriously, I made this bread - yum!!!). And if you stop by, wish her a happy birthday too!

Part 2 coming soon!

Oh, and please send prayers/positive vibes/happy thoughts/etc. my way tomorrow. I'll be spending the entire day taking the patent bar exam, and am quite nervous about it, to say the least.