Knit 2 Par 3

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sticks and Stones

As luck would have it, I did get to play a little at the golf event on Monday. I didn't have that gym class nightmare come to life of being picked last - or not picked at all - but I was grouped with the lame and the sickly. It was like the kids table of golf. I played with my boss, who was trying to pass a kidney stone so he couldn't play with the "good" golfers. We played Scramble, which had to be developed by some Special Education professionals because it's just so fair to the sorry and crippled: everyone plays off the best situated ball on the green, which in our case was the boss's ball every time. I wasn't a better player than the other two in our party (both from Finance) but I was more serious and made good putts in spite of the boss's occaisional high pitched whimpers and screams as that kidney stone got ready to launch.

This week was also notable because Nancy bought a whole set of irons at Enterprise Golf. They were very cute, blue shafts and highlights on the club head I think, and she got a good buy on them. It had all the irons a girl could need and one one unexpected club in the set, a number 9 3/4.

Thinking about that club purchase made me think about interchangeable knitting needle sets. As you may recall from an earlier post I am a big fan of Denise Interchangable Needles. The big drawback is that they only come in sizes 5 to15. For most knitters these are enough for almost any project but I work a lot in 0 - 4 . I certainly own enough variety and lengths of small size circulars, but the benefit of the interchangable needles is that you can very easily switch needles to get a better gauge withouth having to go through that Ziploc bag full of tangled needles which are usually not in the same place I am. Plus the storage case for the Denise needles is highly satisfactory, as it fits in the utility pocket of my yarn bag. Although I prefer bamboo, the Denise needles are made of a very lightweight resin which warms up fast in your hands and does not cause hand cramping or the fatigue like Addi Turbo metal tips or straight needles. The resin isn't for everyone, though: Trouble borrowed a pair once and remarked it was like knitting with drinking straws.

I'll see how Nancy likes those clubs over the summer. While I do like the thrill of going through the golf club bargain bin, having those interchangable needles has really improved my knitting skills and maybe a full set of clubs can give me a similar improvement in my game. And it might help me move out from the kids table.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hips Don't Lie!

If you live anywhere near a radio, you've heard that Shakira song four thousand times now. It sticks in your head " I'm blah blah blah and my hips don't lie, blahdy blahdy blah" but did you know it's a song about golf and not belly dancing? I learned why today when we were hitting balls in JC. Caution to the squeamish (or the curious): this blog is about my hips, not Shakira's.

A few weeks ago I practised keeping my head down and my eye on the ball when taking a swing. Now after hitting about 500 balls I realized you don't really keep your head down, you keep it balanced on your neck like a ball on a tee, very still. You keep your eyes on the ball not because it's going anywhere, but because it focuses your golf ball head still on the tee. Having come to some enlightenment on this I decided to move on to my hips.

I never took a physics class in school but I can tell that golf is based on one of those Newton's Laws about every action causing a reaction. You want the ball to go far, you need to hit it hard. But over these last few months I haven't seen one person on the golf course who looks like he or she could swing a cat too far, but there they are, wacking the hell out of the ball. Thwak! It's such a satisfying noise.

The secret is shifting your weight from one side to the other and purposely moving your hips from one side to another. It feels awkward at first but then you get that mindless feeling of unexepected physical abandonment, like a quick few seconds of wild dancing in an elevator. And the ball goes far enough so that maybe tomorrow if I get to play, my score can be under 200.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun

Rain, rain and more rain today. I did go to the Mall, though and I think the last time I was at the mall was around Thanksgiving or Christmastime when Nancy and I went to a little upscale mall, but this mall today was for the proletariat. And I couldnt find one golf related clothing item for my work event on Monday.

Golf clothes for women, though - it's a tough to find your look. Especially if you are in that tricky age range between 25 and 65. And if you shun pastels of any hue, or if you knees are lumpy, or you'd rather die than wear anything with an embroidered tulip, even if it's on a black background.

In this Thursday's NY Times Style Section, there was an article about finding somehting chic to wear while playing golf in Paris. After I read this article I was overwhemed by the total glamourosity of this idea and it rendered me unable to work. That morning I had attended a meeting about the golf event on Monday, and attire was a big item on the agenda. Lot's of don'ts: no Hooters logos on your shirts or hats being just one. For God's sake - and I mean that literally where I work - what adult would wear a Hooters Hat to a work event? It turns out that Hooters donated a lot of merch to our agency at Christmastime that wasn't considered suitable for the needy, and ended up with staff members. I remember that the stuff smelled like buffalo wings too. Hey you! Don't wear that Hooters hat to work.

Brendan got to play golf on Thursday with people from his job and although he may have missed the article about chic golf wear and the verbal warning about the Hooters hats, I'm sure he looked just fine for Long Island even though you cannot predict what he might have on his head. His score was a very enviable 105. He may be ready for a handicap now if he's playing that well. I did some more research on Hipster Handicaps; for example, Bob Dylan has a handicap of 18 which would make him pretty evenly matched with AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys, who has a handicap of 16. I admit I have as much Dylan on my ipod as I do Backstreet Boys, and AJ is my favorite.

If it rains a little tomorrow, we'll go hit some balls; if it rains a lot, we'll drink beer and watch The Caddy on TV.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not all Sheep are Created Equal

I had a bag of money to spend on yarn at the Renegade Craft Fair, but ended up not buying even a tiny skein. Not that there wasn't any yarn to be had, there was plenty and some of it was quite clever and in the DIY spirit.

This picture is from the Traveling Rhinos booth. They had some yummy stranded yarn at a reasonable price, and in retrospect I wish I had bought some, but there isn't a lot you can do with all that hairy strand yarn. A scarf maybe, but the strands can get in my mouth and the fiber generally isn't warm enough for my neck for winter. I could forget a coat but I need to have a warm neck in the winter.

I was physically turned on by the handspun at Material Whirled. These spinners are using quality natural fiber, intense color and found objects to create beautiful yarn and my heart yearned to play with it in the privacy of my own home. I touched everything they had, and overall the yarn seemed to have a very pleasing hand even with the non-wool content. But the cost! $50 for 160 yards. That's a Big Price to Pay for something that ends up as trim on a sweater or, god forbid, a scarf.

Handspun is a great thing, but the problem for me is that most arty spinners can't do enough yardage to make a worthwhile project, and many that can do the volume produce uninspiring yarns. It's unsportsmanlike to name names, but last year I bought some handspun mohair at Stitches East that maybe was supposed to be for sweaters for martyrs. And some other yarn that was spun by a prison collective in Colorado made me feel like I was doing time when I was working with it. I ended up giving it all away at a yarn swap.

Ozark Handspun
, though, is something I would recommend even though it is small lot yarn. Last year I made myself - a scarf. But it had all the qualities I need in a scarf as it had a lot of texture and color so it didn't need fringe and it kept my neck really warm. Some of the fiber did get in my mouth. Note to gift recipients: if getting yarn fluff in your mouth is a problem let me know and I will adjust yarn choices accordingly.

I am also always on the lookout when I am in Maine for yarn by Nanny Kennedy of Get Wool. She raises the sheep, and dyes the wool using ocean water and it has a beautiful heathery finish that wears well. I like to use this yarn for hats because of the excellent natural felting that occurs between wet weather and hot heads.

And not to forget golf today - golf is heating up. Vacation days are being scheduled. Family golf tournaments are on the horizon. I have a golf work event next week. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Those who can't. watch it on the couch

We need an ottoman in this house. Em and I spent a busy and sweaty day at the Renegade Craft Fair and if I could have come home and put my feet up to watch a little golf, instead of having a little lie down on the couch, this would have been a different day.

This year's Renegade Craft Fair had a good mix of things and I was very, very pleased with my purchases. We went early, which was good because you could talk to the vendors and they actually seemed glad to see you. I must say, the heat was stupifying even at 11:00 am and my favorite giveaway was a fan from Aimee at Sew Betsy Ross, who was a nice girl with great design ideas that were well executed.

You will be surprised to learn that no yarn was purchased or even really considered, but that's worth a whole separate post.

My most charming purchase was an embroidery patch kit from a place that didn't even have a website. Just a girl (named Jennie) drawing the patch templates on cotton interfacing with a Sharpie. I will be sure to post a picture of the finished product on this site, it looks like the perfect commuting craft so hopefully it can be done soon.

The most exciting find was a seconds and remnant bin from Repro Depot. The chorus of delighted squeals from the bin divers reverberated throughout the park like church bells. We both scored big there at a discount $1 per ounce and I got both Golf and Bowling remnants aren't you excited about what I'm thinking of doing with those?

The day wouldn't be complete for me without a summer purse purchase, and I got this cute thing at the Fred Flare sidewalk sale and it was seriously on sale. Although it is not a craft, it's not black and it has lots of pockets The pocket on the upper right hand corner is the designated Metro Card pocket. The pocket on the left holds change. And the pocket on the bottom is for the commuter craft.

Sounds like a good day, right? I had a real bad case of tired legs when I got home not to mention about sixteen chores and knitting group tonite. I persevered through the weekly Underwear and Sock Management hour and kicked the dog off the couch and turned on the US Open. I thought I could bear all that bad putting a little better if I put my head down and then, it was 7:30 p.m. Golf was over. Dinner time was over. Knitting Group was mostly over. My beer was warm and flat. If we had an ottoman, I could have remained upright and I would have been a productive member of society.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Like a Yarn Store, only with no yarn.

Brendan and I made a quick trip to a new big box golf store that opened near our offices today at lunch time. Since any golf related activity is accorded paid time off in my company, I didn't feel the need to hurry back to the office after the lunch hour was up. Brendan had to hurry back to toil for The Man and I hung out at and checked out a lot of clubs, as well as the other patrons, and all of us were like the kid in the proverbial candy store.

First of all if you have an affection for the 40 something balding guy, run don't walk to your local big box golf store. I happen to have such an affection, as well as one of those kinds at home, and an unlimited selection of them in my Palm Pilot if you'd like to meet one right now, so it this is merely an observation on my part but let me tell you: I never saw so many seemingly heterosexual men in one place. And as soon as Brendan left, so many that were so willing to offer their heartfelt yet unsolicited opinions on what kind of hybrid I should buy, once they concluded that I wasn't there to buy a Father's Day gift.

I picked out a hybrid Taylor Made that looked like it might help me hit the ball further than 35 feet. Golf For Women did a good review of the popular hybrids, and I recommend you read the article and decide for yourself. For a person like me, who is not likely to develop a powerful swing and who is not flexible enough to be able to get the club really far back, a club like this might make the game go a little faster. Plus I could knit a cute little cover for it, since it is as much like a wood as an iron.

The other thing I noticed is this golf store was just like a yarn store. Lots of merch, arranged in a way that made sense for the craft. On the walls were sets of irons, like you'd see those Colinette Kits. The section of woods reminded me of the Bulky section in a yarn store just like you'd see in Downtown Yarns on Avenue in their Lambs Pride Bulky section. The irons section reminded me of Purl Soho's great Koigu display. I just love Koigu, the colors are so vibrant and the wps so satisfying for socks. My favorite Koigu socks are a pair I made for Lou Lou out of brown merino yarn; she loves brown, and this yarn was the brownest brown I ever saw and it was the very definition of brown. That's the beauty of Koigu, and Lamb's Pride - the colors are so true and so deep. And you can wash it in the machine and get a beautiful bloom.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Do you think I can tell this joke at work?

A woman goes to confession and says, "Forgive me father for I have sinned. I used the F-word over the weekend.

The priest says, "Oh okay, just say three Hail Marys and try to watch your language."

The woman replies that she would like to confess as to why she said the F-word . The priest sighs and tells her to continue. "Well father, I played golf on Sunday instead of going to church”.

The priest says, "And you got upset over that and swore?"

The woman replied, "No, that wasn't why I swore. On the first tee I hit the ball into a tree." The priest said, "And that's when you swore."

The woman sighed. "No, it wasn't. When I walked up the fairway, I noticed my ball got a lucky bounce and I had a clear shot to the green. However, before I could hit the ball, a squirrel ran by and grabbed my ball and scurried up a tree."

The priest asked, "Is that when you said the F-word?"

The woman replied, "No, because an eagle then flew by and caught the squirrel in its sharp talons and flew away." The priest let out a breath and queried, "Is that when you swore?"

The woman replied, "No, because the eagle flew over the green and the dying squirrel let go of my golf ball and it landed within 5 inches of the hole."

The priest screamed: "Don't tell me you missed the fucking putt!"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rules of Golf

We played a little golf this weekend at Anchor Golfland, nine holes and hitting some balls at the driving range. I was very pleased with my score, though, on the nine holes - 48 (par was 27) , and got one par for the first time on the 7th hole. Brendan did good too, got par on five holes too for a score of 33. Nancy had some fine shots right on the green, but recorded her score with invisible ink so it is a secret.

One thing that becomes more apparent each time I play golf is that their are a lot of rules and you need to study up on them. You need to study them so you can improve upon them to satisfy your own personal and emotional needs.

A good place to start is this little article on the website As if I would! When you search for "Cher" on that website you get 10,000 articles and pictures from a long, long time ago. When you search on "knitting" you get detailed instructions on how to kill off any kind of discussion with your partner and you are urged to "Get it On!"

More detailed rules can be found in terrifyingly detailed summary of the PGA rules. Rule 33, The Committee, sounded like it could be the plot from one of the Prisioner episodes.

Anchor Golfland has it's own rules, among them:
  • No high heels.
  • No profane language/
  • Have a Nice Day!
And the most humbling rule of all, clearly meant to satisfy some deep needs for Anchor Golfland management:
  • If at any time it becomes necessary to inform you of infractions, you alone are at fault.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I've been pondering this handicap concept for a few days now. Thanks to Professor Brendan:

"Of course our biggest handicap is that we play golf at all. I have personally never gotten to the handicap stage, numbers may not go that high. You determine your handicap by officially posting your score for several rounds with a golf pro and then you get the magic number.

Handicaps: Every amateur player should have a handicap. This gives poor players or beginners an advantage. Let's look at an example.

John has a handicap of 24. He takes a shot on a hole that is par 4. John gets the ball in the whole, but takes five shots to do it. Because he has a handicap of 24 he can take off one shot, so he really gets a par. On some holes you can take more shots. This depends on the score index which determines how hard the hole is. This system is really good as it allows people of totally different levels to play against one another. However some people abuse the system and play with a high handicap in order to receive more shots. They are known as 'bandits' among other things."

Now, we kow that golf is hard. You have to keep your head down knees bent foot angled butt perched on a barstool arm straight wrist cocked thumbs down and that is even before you do anything. Like almost before you get out of the car! It's a miracle that anyone hits the ball at all. This handicap thing seems like a macho way of asking for a do-over. Just ask for the do over or friends, offer one to your fellow player. When you play golf you need a lot of love and kindness, and encouragement, not a handicap. And a snack, don't forget the snack. And a beer afterwards.

There is no such thing as a knitting handicap. You might have bad taste in yarn or pattern selection, and you could develop a handicap to correct for that. Let's use a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being "exquiste" and 10 being "crap". For example, you use worsted weight acrylic yarn for a baby sweater and you get a 10 score because that is totally crap. But, you pick a nice Debbie Bliss pattern so you get a handicap of 5 for that, so your total score on that project is 5 - not terrible, not great. Or you make a sweater using Colinette Point 5 and an a Teva Durham pattern (for sure, a score of 1) but your sweater makes you look like the Incredible Hulk. Where does that leave you?

Wondering why you even knit at all.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Stimulating dinner conversation today speculating on whether Cher is a knitter, and if so, what would she knit. Perhaps a sweater with two fronts for the day she has a plastic surgeon put those tits on her back.

This outfit here looks like it might be knitted. You won't benefit from trying to find a larger picture of it, so I figured out the pattern for you. I'd recommend using the cheapest possible metalic yarn you can find at AC Moore.

This is sized for an ample, confident goddess.

Using Circular US17 (24 inches) CO 72 stitches and join. Place marker at beginning of row. Row 1: Knit. Row 2: K1, YO, K1. Row 3: K1, drop YO. Repeat rows 1 - 3 until desired length from bust to crotch. Divide stiches evenly on two Circular US17 (16 inches) and repeat pattern until a satisfactory bell bottom length has been reached. Bind off loosely. Don't wear it outside.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

We all learned in English class that one of the great themes in literature is Man Against Nature. Moby Dick (note to self - don't search for Moby Dick images on Google); The Good Earth; Mrs. Mike - all good examples, but none as epic a struggle as trying to play golf today.

It's been raining pretty much nonstop since Thursday, just relentless pouring rain with thunder. Now I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining, but I was really looking forward to playing golf this weekend. Brendan had high hopes of playing on Friday afternoon, but it rained so he had to give in to some other vices instead; when I woke up on Saturday it was raining so hard I though someone had turned a hose on the house and today, Sunday, it was merely overcast so Brendan and Clementine came over and picked up me and Emily and we headed out to Anchor Golfland, figuring the girls could entertain themselves with mini golf and we could play the Par 3 course.

It's a long ride out there to Whippany and you get plenty of opportunity to listen to music, and unfortunately today this music included Meatloaf. And as luck would have it, Meatloaf plays golf. Yes. His handicap is 18, but I don't know what that means. I suspect his handicap may be that his tolerable song is a Broadway show tune, and I don't even want to talk about Paradise by the Dashboard Light. But, if you have $15,000 you can play golf with MeatLoaf.

Imagine our distress when we got to there and the Par 3 course was closed! Flooded! Disaster area! I felt like someone hit me in the solar plexis with my putter. The place was underwater. So we played a round of mini golf with the girls. I must say they didn't take our criticism of their shots very well. Emily particularly thought telling someone "it's all practise" was particularly evil.

We did get to hit a bucket of balls while the girls played more mini golf so the day wasn't a total loss. When I asked if she enjoyed herself today, Emily reported that she didn't think golf was as lame as she had heretofore believed, but that it was still pretty lame.

She must have been thinking about the Cher music that was playing along with the Meatloaf. No, Cher does not play golf. She does what she wants, including an unbelievable version of Bell Bottom Blues. Don't drive while you listen to it, you'll have an accident. There s so much caterwalling in the song I can't even load it into the blog; if you want a copy, email me and I will send it to you.