Knit 2 Par 3

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Too Hot For Golf

At least for me, this weekend. But not too hot for knitting, especially with really fuzzy mohair. I finished a very fun sweater in time for Nancy's birthday this weekend, here it is:

This is based on a pattern from the recent Knitscene magazine, but I used a pretty Alchemy instead of a fluffy Naturwole as suggested. It only took about 300 yards too, making it a great way to use up some lace yarn. I find if you use a bulky yarn for these kinds of shrugs, unless you are one of the Olsen twins, you can end up looking like a linebacker. This Alchemy is a nylon/mohair blend which gives makes the yarn a little easier to handle.

The beauty of this sweater is that it is knitted in one piece from the bottom up - the cap sleeves are cast on at the underarm seam, and you can make the raglan sleeve decreases as plain or as fancy as you want. There was very little finishing, although I did crochet an edge on the underarm for a better finish.

I can't recommend this pattern enough. It was sized properly, and you could use a variety of yarns to get the right gauge. I have a load of Rowan Kid Silk Haze - and you know that's like knitting with dental floss - and I plan to make another one, this time for me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Look Out!

It's true: you can get hurt from golf, but it's hard to get hurt from knitting. According to this recent article in Sports Illustrated (of all weird places) your failure to yell "Fore" can result in serious injury to your fellow golfers and, if you're a rich guy, serious injury to your bank account. But not if you live in Hawaii.

I have some coordination problems to overcome before I can integrate yelling "fore!" into my game. First is the problem where I chew my lower lip when I hit the ball. I bite down so hard sometimes it's hard to talk after a shot, particularly a good shot. A warning sound might come out as FLOOR! which might cause unnecessary looking around. Plus I am not a public yeller.

I like to do my yelling at work.

Plus I think I'm more of a threat to the people in my immediate 10 foot vincity. In reporting on golf ball injuries, Golf Digest reported that scientists from the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine used a crash-test dummy and a machine that shoots golf balls to replicate real-life beaning scenarios outdoors.

Those tests showed that an 85-m.p.h. shot to your forehead from 50 yards away will cause a nasty bruise, but has only a 1 percent chance of causing a life-threatening injury. Now, it's rare that I hit the ball more than 30 yards at a time and I am sure not whacking it at 85 miles per hour. The article also said the testers shot balls at a dummy' temple in a lab. They discovered that the temple is by far the most dangerous place to get hit-- the bones are thin there, and you can get a severe injury plus break your glasses.

Even if this has convinced you that you should practise yelling Fore! in the shower in the morning, it's worth your time to check out these excellent animated movies about Safety and golf etiquitte. Particularly the one on Divot Repair - which Brendan thinks counts as gardening - the animatrix looks like she's tearing up the course with a shovel and means it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Playing with Dolls

It was too wet outdoors. It was too wet to play. So Emily and I stayed in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.

And we watched the British Open! At least the highlights from it while I finished up a great sweater from the recent issue of Knitscene. This was a very satisfying sweater, and I'll post a picture of it in my new In The Hole! section hopefully tomorrow. It's knitted in one piece including sleeves and in size 10.5 needles. I used that beautiful Achemy I bought last week and I think this is one of those patterns that Interweave should make available for free on their website. It's simple yet stylish, mindless yet engaging due to the raglan sleeve shaping and has a very forgiving fit, making it a suitable gift.

Mindless yet engaging: is it any wonder John Daly did not make the cut on the first day after his gig at the Cavern Club? There are some things you shouldn't do even if you can because you are famous, and drunken.

I was happy that Tiger Woods has improved his game and is no longer facing the specter of being the fourth for our foursome. Because we'd have to kick him out to make room for Emily! That's her in the picture above. That's me dressed like Francie. None of my Barbies played golf, although many were in committed Barbie/Barbie relationships.

The sun came out in time for Sun-day, so we went to JC to hit some balls and believe me, Emily is ready for a game with the old people. With the exception of the balls that hit the cars in the parking lot, most of her shots were at least 100 yards. We also went to Enterprise Golf where she admired a Bling Bling Golf bag that cost, oh, a grand. But that's what Barbie would do!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Somewhat true

A woman has terrible pains in both knees so she goes to see her doctor. The doctor asks her about her activities over the past few weeks and she says even though she has terrible knee pain she was able to play a round of golf the week before.

"Really?" said the doctor. "I'm a golfer, and I'm surprised that with this kind of knee pain you could play a round. What did you shoot?"

"I'm proud to say - 158", the woman modestly replied.

"You're proud to say 158!" shouted the doctor. "You should have gone right to the emergency room".

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maybe playing golf IS the opposite of making art

There is a big difference between knitting art and golf art.

Golf art is this business card holder. It was the only art or craft item made from golf utensils or tools that I could find on the entire WWW.

Knitting, well, people are knitting a lot of art. This tank, for example, is covered with knitted and crocheted squares and is a Danish war protest. Note the pompom, knitters, it's a very now touch and easy to make.

People lately also like to knit food items; I think it's a little tired but here is a Japanese link and those are always amusing. Scroll down for the strawberry short cake. Or click here for Japanese cats wearing clothes, nothing knitted.

Don't send me anything about that knitted tree sweater that has been making the rounds; I have no hard feelings about animals wearing sweaters, but I can't abide the tree sweater.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You can always go....Downtown

This blog is about golf interfering with knitting, not taking the place of knitting. My repeated emails to Brendan and Elsie (woman at work who organizes the golf tournaments) to leave work now to play golf on Friday floated in deaf cyberspace. So taking some liberties for early closing Friday I left the office at 12:55 and headed Downtown, where all the lights are bright and the yarn stores are open from 1 - 10 p.m.

First stop was Purl in Soho. I appreciate the depth of stock this yarn store carries, but I can't warm up to them. Their stock of Alchemy can't be beat, and they must have every color of Koigu. I really enjoyed looking at their line of Tillie Tomas and Lorna's Laces too, particularly the sock yarn they have dyed just for them. They have a lot of helpful sales help too, but you just don't get a sense of craft there. I was reminded of a recent trip to Philadelphia where I visited Loop on Walnut Street - they had the same groovy yarn from small mills, in a similarly chic space, but it was just more welcoming. Anyway at Purl, I bought some beautiful mohair/nylon blend Alchemy yarn for an upcoming birthday gift project.

One of the ways a yarn store can be more welcoming is if they had a couch and some opportunity to swatch some samples. Purl hardly has any room for their skinny art school sales help, forget about a couch. Loop had a couch and a worktable and a big basket of yarn and needles to sample.

I took the crosstown bus east to Downtown Yarns, where, in spite of having no table and no chairs for lounging, the atmosphere is much more welcoming. They usually only have one or two people working there and they can't help too much, because they are in the middle of knitting. Maybe that's what makes it more craft oriented - the staff seem to be more involved in yarn. They have a great selection of wooly stuff there, as mentioned in a previous post. Didn't buy anything there, but fingered a lot brilliantly dyed of silky alpaca. Having previously distained alpaca I need to think about this attraction and what to make of it.

Hopped on the crosstown bus again and headed back to the West Village, to stop at The Point on Bedford Street. Of course I wanted to look at yarn but this is the most welcoming place prior to getting on the PATH to stop to pee - they have knitting magazines in the bathroom.

When this place opened a year or so ago, it had a great selection of yarn and a small coffee/pastry cafe. Now it has lots of food and a little bit of yarn. Every table was occupied but by one lone knitter, struggling through a beginner project. It reminded me of this picture. They do have a very good selection of sock yarn here, particularly that Regia yarn, at very good prices. It just seemed like a lonely place for the dually addicted.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Quit Your Day Job

I woke up this morning and said: today is a perfect golf day. The sun is shining, the jack hammers are jackin' at the many condo sites in my neighborhood and the boss is away. Due to anticipated home maintenance projects it looks like there may be little or no golf this weekend, except of course for hitting a few balls with the fairway wood I plan to buy at Enterprise if I can get a good used one.

Brendan broke a 100 last week so he can quit his day job and join the Senior PGA. I broke 160 so clearly I need more time to practise. Nancy lost her hat with the nice ball marker so we need to get back to that course to look around. Leave now, while everyone is at the coffee break and you still can get out alive.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Par-digan Sweater

I was totally unprepared fashion wise on Sunday for golf. First, of course, I found it hard to believe that some of us could get up so early in the morning that I thought I had way more time than I did. Some of us got up at 5:10 am, got fully dressed and I guessed watched Davey and Goliath until daybreak, but some of us just layed around betting they could get another hour of sleep before the rest showed up.

I ended up rushing out of the house and wearing something both too hot and not warm enough at the same time. I actually ended up half in pajamas half in John's clothes. (I did have on my own underwear). The rules at Weequahic mention "Proper Attire Required" twice on the score card; clearly, a failure on my part.

So I decided on a good stylish golf related knitting project for myself: the Par-digan. As mentioned before in this space, I have a lot of yarn. It's unusual for me to go to a yarn store and not buy some yarn, but it's not unusual for me to come home and leave it in a bag for a year.

And I get on these binges, like with the sock yarn. Hey you people! The Sockstravaganza has finally come to an end. There are socks for everyone but not even my loved ones can be enthusiastic about socks in July. I'll give them out in the fall. (It's even too hot in the house to take a picture of them right now, maybe later).

But I'm going to treat myself to a golf sweater, and I call it the pattern the Pardigan. For each round of golf I play, I will subtract par from my actual score, and knit that many stripes in one color and switch each round. For that elusive Par round I've chosen a really fuzzy magenta yarn that I must have purchased in a yarn store blackout, because I can't remember how it got in the stash box at all. I am using Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns - the round yoke cardigan can basically be knitted in one piece with a little modification of the pattern. So far, I've knitted through the first nine holes; so, time for a Snickers bar.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


To be good at knitting you need to be a good counter. You count rows, stitches, decreases and increases, stitch wraps and pattern reps. For a long time now I've used a little golf score counter to keep track of increases and decreases; I can keep all the other stuff going in my head with no problem. (I also have a superpower: I can tally up the cost of everything in my cart at the Shoprite - less coupon savings - and come within a dollar of the total cost at checkout. Even figuring tax! It's true.)

On Saturday I consummated the love affair with golf by playing a full 18 holes at Weequahic Golf Course in Newark and there was a lot of sweating, counting and furious adding. Like your first time with anything there were a lot things that surprised me: first of all, a golf course is big; men have to work a little harder because where they tee off can be as much as a 100 yards longer than the tee for "ladies"; and my ability to count stiches and add up the price of beans became a valuable skill as my score climbed ever higher. I was also tremendously pleased with one par on the second hole and my sad but hard won score: 158.

As I dozed in the car over the Pulaski Skyway, I wondered if you could use your scores to plot a knitting pattern, either as stripes or stitch changes based on what you got at each hole, or how much of a difference there was between your score and par. Lots of scarf patterns are based on math concepts like Fibonacci sequences or moibius patterns or even replicating DNA. I have been experimenting with some stranding so as to use up the shocking amount of stash and I think I will embark on an actual knitted garment for me, a cardigan that I can wear when we play golf in the fall.

You could even add up the numbers like in the Cosmo Bedside Astrologer to come up some fortune telling activity. If you add up the numbers in my score you get 5, and if you check out that numerology link, you learn that I am "communicative and witty on a light level" which might explain why I find the Three Stooges so hilarious. Nyuk!

Brendan finished the game with a personal best score of 93. He also got 4 pars, more than in any game. Two in a row on holes 5 and 6. I will be sure to give him back the score card for the archives.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wie, Wie, Wie, All the Way Home

Lots of fresh air, good food and great golf this weekend in Maine. I was able to kidnap Emily and her friend Frankie for their first game of not mini-golf at the par 3 course. Imagine my excitment when Emily turned to me and said: I like golf, and I'm good at it, and I want to play again.

Is this a case of Stockholm Syndrome or the real thing? The kid can hit the ball straight and far. On most of the holes she was only two or three over par. She hit a bird on the 9th hole - not a birdie, an actual robin; it was stunned for a few minutes but it was able to fly away. I think I've found our fourth.

We spent a happy Saturday afternoon watching the US Women's Open on my in-laws 975,000 inch high definition television. Let me tell you: if these girls knew the detail you can see on a big hi def TV, they would have gotten a professional leg wax. You could see every pore and every bra stap cutting into the player's back. It was an exciting tournament although I missed Annika and Patty Hurst in a playoff on Sunday morning. I wonder if Patty is the first bank-robbing terrorist to play professional golf. I doubt she will be the last.

I was pretty excited about a player the announcers referred to as Inkster. The other women all had their first initial and last name but this woman just had just "Inkster". Just like Cher. I thought: we need cool golf names. Brendan already has a bowling name so he could just use that as a golf name; Nancy and I can just try this handy golf name generator.