Knit 2 Par 3

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Break From Knitting

This was pretty much a damn near perfect weekend, if you ask me: the only thing that kept it from being perfect was that I forgot that we had cranberry sauce in the cupboard for the Sunday chicken dinner.

Hard Workin Brendan organized a trip to a combination indoor mini golf/insane asylum on Saturday afternoon, causing many of us to get out of our pajamas at the ungoldly hour of 2:30 pm. This would be a great place for a birthday party, particularly if it was open very late at night, and you could bring a box of wine, and there were no other children there besides our own exceptionally well behaved city children, and we could get take out from this place where we had dinner later, and the owners would vacuum the course before we got there. Then it would go from almost perfect to perfect.

Sad to say, my putting was less than perfect. I did get a few nice putts, but the winter has taken it's toll on my meager skills.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Diamonds are a (Chilly) Girl's Best Friend

It was nine degrees when we woke up this morning. Nine! The pipes froze in the bathroom here in the Museum of 1937, but I threw my coat over my pajamas and was lucky to get a ride to the gym to take a shower.

This is Emily in the Diamond Hat. Even for me, this hat was a challenge: it's made up of millions of mitre-squared sections that decrease microscopically in size for each row, with a separate knitted on border. If you have 10 or so years to devote to figuring it out, email me and I'll hook you up.

The yarn: the beauty that is Noro. Noro gives you enough length before color changes so that you can get a whole square of one color, or a subtle ombre of two or three. It is suitable for every colorway, but I used only about 200 yards and size 6 needles for the whole thing so you could use leftovers of any kind with good results. But use Noro if you've got it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Baby, it's Cold Outside

Finally, it's cold enough for some wooly hats.

Here is the ever-obliging Emily modeling Christy's Tam O'Shanter. Please notice the the pom-pom; it was so big, I couldn't get it all in the picture.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Majolica Wear

I was ready to sever all ties with this project too this month, but I'm in love again:

This is from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits intended as a Christmas present for my niece Isabel. It started out okay - the border rocks: maximum impact for minimum effort. The main pattern, however, is unnecessarily detailed stitchwork. In some rows, the pattern was duplicated twice and in others, just one time It made me tired trying to figure out when to do things twice and when to do things once, so I improved upon it by decreasing the pattern by a few rows and repeating each pattern row one time only. It's a little more compressed but it will look fine to a five year old who likes itchy sweaters.

I'm not too tired to knit today, let me tell you. Nancy treated us to a great big home cookin' breakfast and I drank about 14 cups of coffee. Then I had a great big mouth open pillow drool soaking nap because I couldn't find any golf on TV. Emily and I are off to the knitting group tonite, maybe we will stay until midnight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Golf Interferes with a Good Night's Sleep

Today's Times had an article about Michele Wie that has had me twisted up all evening. Not the coverage, or the opinion expressed therein, but something that pokes this forty-something feminist, professional, mother and wife right in my eye with a size zero needle: why is this talented girl defining her worth against the accomplishments of men?

You can read the article here, but it points out the obvious: Wie isn't playing great over these last few months, no matter with whom she is playing, but is she she telling us she is a better professional because she's loosing to men instead of women?

Why are young women still believing this crap? Well, for one thing, as mentioned in this blog before, there is big money in it for professional male golfers and much less money for women golfers. I'll say a wild thing (and then find some specious internet back up later to proove my point) which is that I bet all the earnings of professional women golfers in 2006 were still less than what Tiger Woods brought in during the same time.

So, the real world says the financial stakes are higher when you play with men. It's a sad fact of life that in 2007 women earn $.77 for every dollar a man makes. But why not use your power for Good instead of Evil and work to negotiate higher purses for women's games?

Blah, blah, blah. Money aside, I can't help but feel real bad about the underlying message Wie is sending here: it's better to be at the bottom of a man's game than to be at the top of a women's game. That the LPGA promotes "women's work" and therefore to be discounted.

I wish I had a big call to arms here, like take to the streets or burn your bra, but really, I have a few requests:

  • Mention the wage gap between men and women at your job when you are at the coffee machine instead of talking about American Idol tomorrow.
  • If you have a teenager - boy or girl - ask them to read the article in the Times and tell you what they think.
  • Knit something in public as your women's work badge of honor.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's not you, it's me, really.

Well, sad to say, the Jaywalker socks are history. It was all too much for me: too many stitches per inch, bad juju yarn choice, the pointy needles, the Mr. Magoo like myopia. I had to frog and frog and frog, and then hide the yarn in the stash chest and loose two of the needles under the couch. It was a bad breakup.

Once these socks were exorcised from my life, we went for a walk at The Cloisters to clear our heads.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jaywalker Socks: You'll Poke Your Eye Out

The Jaywalker socks present the classic knitter smack down: Old Eyes vs. Size Zero DPNs. And the Old Eyes won this time.

Over the summer vacation, I did a few pairs of socks with needles that were size 2 or smaller. Was my eyesight better then, or did the constant consumption of cheap red wine mask that I could not see the stitches or the needles?

With a gauge of 7 stitches to the inch, this is a tough sock for the nearsighted. I kept getting jabbed in the eye when I brought the work right up to my nose to count the pattern.

I bet I could sell a story to Interweave if a knitting injury like that caused me to go blind. Since I can knit in the dark in the movie theater, I always imagined that if I went blind, I would still be able to knit. But if I was blind, I wouldn't knit these things, no way.

On the other hand, my golf game might only improve if I were blind. There seem to be blind golf associations all over the world. The USGA even has rules for blind golfers; if you read them, though, you get a pretty good description of what Brendan has to do to get me and Nancy through a game.

Back to the Jaywalkers. The pattern is fun, but I recommend some changes if you are over 40. First, ditch the cocktail skewers and use at least a size 2.5, preferably one of those shortened needles for socks or gloves. I found that you get the right size for an average adult woman if you use 3 needles instead of four, and cast on 21 stitches on each needle for a total of 63. Turn the heel in your favorite way, and just follow the pattern for the top part of the sock.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tell It to The Judge

Although I have a shocking amount of sock yarn left after the Sockstravanza this summer, I felt the need to get more yarn for those Jaywalker socks. I took Emily with me to Patricia's Yarn Store as a cover - if she picked out the yarn, perhaps then I wasn't really responsible for the purchase... because, after all, it was Em who picked it out...and I since Emily claimed the socks for herself, they are really a gift...and I paid cash...and I haven't bought any yarn since December 9, that's a whole month...

(What did I buy? I bought some beautiful "Anne" Schaefer Yarn in the unfortunate "Mary Baker Eddy" colorway. What were they thinking when they named this color after Christian Scientists? I wish I'd known when I bought the yarn, I would have maybe picked the Shari Lewis line).

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I bought more yarn. And further, I've been living a lie, albeit accidentally: I have more than one project going at a time, as you can see by my new sidebar, although I have preached project mongamy loudly and often.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Am I the Last Knitter on Earth to think about this?

Okay, I give in: the Jaywalker socks. Who wants 'em? Let me know.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Rockin' Ribbi Cardi

Finished up the fourth and final Ribbi Cardi of 2006, just in time for Clem's birthday.

I used hooks instead of a zipper, but I am unsatisfied with the hooks. The day after I gave Clem the sweater, though, I had a dream about buying some very nice hook and eye clasps at Tender Buttons near my office. Why didn't I have this dream before I put on the hook and eyes? I will plan to go over to the store this week; it's off Lexington on 63rd.

I was wondering what it might mean to have a dream about buying buttons, particularly at a store where you can get carried away and spend an awful lot of money on just one button, so I consulted a few dream sites. This one was a complete waste of, oh, 25 minutes because like all dreams, buying buttons is somehow related to sex (buttoned up or unbuttoned, you decide) but it did help pass the time while I was waiting for the laundry to put itself away.