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Brewer Burns

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Still In Shock

And not in a good way. I was having a fabulous day yesterday. The trial that I sat in on this week ended in a Not Guilty for the client (thrilling) and I had just finished meeting with all of the clients that I needed to meet with in the jail. And it was about 4:15 in the afternoon, so I had every intention of walking back to my office, futzing with my files and going home and starting my weekend. As I was crossing the busy street between my office and the courthouse (in the crosswalk, with the light I might add) I was hit by a car. That's right. I was hit by a car.

Lucky for me the car was not going that fast (witnesses at the scene estimated that the car was going 10-15 miles an hour.) The driver was turning left onto the the busy street and did not look to see if someone was crossing in the crosswalk. She hit me, I rolled up onto the hood of her car, a second or two later her brain connected with her feet and she slammed on the brakes, and I rolled off the hood of the car and onto the pavement. Let me say it again: I am very lucky. I did not break anything, I did not hit my head, I did not fall on my tailbone. I'm also lucky in that there were several witnesses and this happened right outside the county and city police station, so police, fire department and ambulance were on the scene within minutes. Now, the bad news. The driver is uninsured.

So, today. Today I feel as if I were hit by a car. I basically hurt from my neck to my toes. My ankles hurt, my shins hurt, my knees hurt (the car basically took me out below the knees,) my thighs hurt, my midsection, including my rib and chest area hurt, my arms hurt, my hands hurt and my neck and back probably hurt most of all. Especially the neck. I'm going to assume that my neck hurts the most because I was very invested in not allowing my head to slam into the pavement and try to be a little grateful that I succeeded. The doctor told me that I will hurt worse on the second day after the accident (tomorrow.) I'm not looking forward to that.

On the knitting front, I'm making progress on my Melon Shawl. If I can, I will post some pictures of it today. I'm really enjoying the lavendar color of hte yarn and the pattern repeat for the center section was so easy to memorize that I haven't had to open the book since the day that I cast on. That's a huge plus, not having to look at a chart or the pattern. It makes the knitting enjoyable because it flows so well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bayerische Socks

Pattern: Bayerische Socks by Eunny Jang (free pattern!)
Yarn: Opal solid sock yarn in a pretty mauve color
Needles: Size 1 bamboo dpn's
Mods: Modified size to fit my feet, didn't work chart A or C because of the fewer stitches (and general laziness)

This is a free pattern designed by Eunny Jang and offered on her website. The pattern is very much in a rough draft form. Even so, it is impeccable. First, I want to talk about the modifications that I made to the pattern. I have small feet and I know that I need to cast on 60 stitches to get the correct circumference for my socks, as a general rule. The pattern instructs you to cast on a number of stitches (72?), work the top ribbing, then increase a number of stitches (21?) in order to get the right number of stitches for the cabled leg of the sock. I cast on 60 stitches, then figured out what the ratio is between the cast on number (72?) and the number of stitches increased before the leg is worked (21?) then I increased proportionally. That meant that I cast on 60 stitches, worked the ribbing, then increased 16 stitches before working the leg of each sock. Then when I got to the heel, I decreased 16 stitches so that I again had 60 stitches on my needles. I then worked the foot with 60 stitches. One of the consequences of decreasing the number of stitches from the sock is that the side cables, chart A and C, would have had to be re-worked in order to make them work. I tried to do that but failed and decided just to have ribbing instead. I think it was a good choice.

This pattern has, as promised by the designer, cables and twisted stitches on every row. When I first swatched this pattern I didn't want to cable without a cable needle. I thought that it would be easier to cable the way that I knew how: with a cable needle. I was wrong. For me, it was much easier to cable without the cable needle. I have to admit that there were a couple of occasions where I managed to drop a stitch while trying to manuever my needle into it, but those incidents were few and far between, and none of them required me to frog or even to tink back beyond the current crossed stitches. So, I really recommend that if you're going to knti these socks that you cable without the cable needle. You will knit them faster and it will be easier.

The yarn was very good. I have worked with Opal several times previously and always liked it. It is a bit harder and scratchier than Lorna's Laces or Socks That Rock. It is still a very good sock yarn, however. I liked it and am glad that I decided to use it. The dye did not bleed at all when I blocked the socks.

I liked knitting these socks. I did find that the act of knitting into the back loop of half of the stitches, combined with the twisted and crossed stitches and the ribbing, caused this pair of socks to be more strenuous to my hands than other sock patterns. If you're going to knit these then I would also recommend frequent breaks. These are definitely a pair of socks worth having though. I will report back as soon as I get a chance to wear them for a full day.

In the meantime, I have started the Melon Shawls from Victorian Lace Today. It is the same shawl that is on the cover of the book, and several people, including Grumperina have made their own version. I am using JaegerSpun Zephyr in Violet for mine. So far, I'm loving it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Finished the Bayerische Socks

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In Which Life Kicks My Ass

So, I've been AWOL here for a few days. First, I've been working. Second, Stephen has been out of town at a conference and therefore I have not been sleeping. Third, I've been judging the Linden Cup competition at Gonzaga. Linden Cup is the appellate advocacy competition at the law school. I did it when I was in law school (not that I remember it, it's all a blur) and I thought it might be fun to judge it this year. Consequently I didn't get home until 11:00 on Monday night (way, way past my bedtime,) 10:30 on Tuesday night (way past my bedtime) and 8:00 last night (not past my bedtime, but still late on a weeknight to be getting home.) I have effectively not slept for three days and am officially exhausted.

I did manage to pull out the Bayerische sock last night and knit a few rounds while listening to This American Life's podcast. Tonight? I plan to knit until I fall asleep in my chair.

Monday, March 19, 2007

11,000 Stitches Down, 10,335 To Go

I finished my first Bayerische sock yesterday.

I really like it. I was worried that I would encounter the same sizing problem that I had with my Pomotamus Socks (which are also worked in a twisted rib pattern) but I seem to have alleviated much of that. My Pomotamus Socks suffer from a certain amount of sag in the heel. With these socks, there is just the hint of a dimple right above where the heel flap starts, but totally wearable. I'm glad that i went with my instincts, which were to cast on 60 stitches, then increase proportionally for the leg. I then decreased back to 60 stitches when I started working the heel flap, and worked the foot over 60 stitches since I eliminated two of the cabled motifs on the foot.

One consequence of sizing these socks for a smaller foot is that I took out some of the cabled portions. I intended to put in smaller cables, but couldn't quite figure out how to do that and retain the ribbing. So I scrapped it. While I think the cables would have looked great on the socks, I'm please with my decision.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

About Those Cables...

I fully intended to publish pictures of my Bayerische-Sock-In-Progress today, but Blogger has conspired against me. It won't let me upload pictures at the moment.

Okay, so, about the cables. I'm sure that if you've looked at the pictures of the Bayerische sock you've probably thought to yourself "gee, that's a lot of cabling in a sock" and "huh, I wonder how she did that without going completely insane." Both of which are perfectly reasonable thoughts. When I sat down to swatch this pattern I had the same thoughts running through my head. Then I actually read the pattern and realized that all of the cables and twisted stitches are worked without a cable needle. At first I decided that I was not going to do it because I hate the idea of having all of those stitches waving in the breeze, so to speak. Then I attempted to work the cables the old fashioned way, with a cable needle. Then I realized that was completely jackass and gave in to the wonder that is cabling without a cable needle. I can't really explain it. Really, all I can say is that if you follow the instructions, everything will be okay. In fact, it will be fabulous.

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Pictures of Dolphin Lace

I really love this scarf. I don't think that I've ever loved something that I've knit and given away more than this scarf. Love it. In knitting news, have you visited Eunny Jang's site lately? She announced today that she is the new Editor of Interweave Knits. Talk about a dream job. And she gets to telecommute.

I, again, have survived Monday. That is no small accomplishment, let me tell you. I have also cast on for a pair of Bayerische Socks (eunnyjang.com/knit.) I'm enjoying them so far. They are another sock pattern that uses twisted stitches to their full effect. They're really lovely socks.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dolphin Lace Scarf Fin

After working slowly, slowly on the Dolphin Lace Scarf for what seemed like an eternity I realized last night that I was dangerously close to being done. Further, I realized that the scarf would be long enough if I knit the required number of repeats. Lastly, I realized that the crocheted picot edging only goes along the cast on and bound off edges of the scarf, not all the way around like I had originally thought. So I finished it. Last night, at about 1:30 a.m. you would have found me on the floor in my living room pinning the scarf out to block:

This morning it was ready:

Project Stats:
Pattern: Dolphin Lace Scarf, page 106, Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: JaegerSpun Zephyr in Cinnabar. I used about 3/4 of one ball
Needles: Size 7 straights
Mods: None, except the yarn
FInished Dimensions: 72" x 13" (approximate measurement)

The pattern first. This is my second project from this book and the patterns in it are very concise. There was actually one error in the pattern. When you work this pattern you actually stagger the pattern rows. So, when you are on the right hand side border you are always one pattern row before the pattern row being worked on the left hand side border. So, if you are on Row 2 on the right hand side border, then you are on row 3 on the left hand side border. Adding to the confusion, you always work the even numbered rows from left to right on the chart (like wrong side rows) and the odd numbered rows from right to left (like right side rows.) The error comes in one of the pattern charts. There is a chart which shows you which pattern rows you will be working at any given time. Unfortunately, it indicates that you work a 13 row pattern repeat insted of a 12 row pattern repeat. The first row, where the right hand side border is worked as all knit stitches, is a set up row only. Once you've worked it the first time you don't need to work it again. In addition, at the end of the scarf you should end with row 12 on the right hand side border, then work the middle chart as established, then work the left hand side border as all knit stitches. This evens everything out and allows you to finish the last pattern motif on the right hand border.

I have to admit that I was thoroughly confused about the staggered border rows at first. I started out working the even numbered rows as right side rows (reading the chart from right to left) on the right hand border, and the odd numbered rows as wrong side rows (reading the chart from left to right.) This was wrong, and I would have eventually figured it out, but it would have been nice if there had been a pattern note indicating the proper way to work the charts. I knew that I was confused so I searched for the dolphin lace scarf, found the Victorian Lace Knitalong, and read a post by someone else working on a different double bordered scarf who explained how to work the rows. Otherwise it would have taken me much longer to figure this out on my own.

Moving on, the yarn was spectacular to work with. It's lace weight and very lovely. It's not very tight spun (a two ply, I think) and therefore there were some splitting problems. It had just the right amount of stretchiness and give though and is light as a feather. I love it. I would recommend this yarn for any lace project. And, I don't know why, but I only used 3/4 of a ball on this scarf. That means that I used far less yarn than the pattern called for. I've noticed this, actually. The same thing happened with my wide-bordered scarf. I used up almost my entire skein of sea silk and ended up with a 120" x 12" scarf. Huge. So, beware when working from this book. You may need much less yarn than called for. Maybe it's just the way I knit?

I am really, really happy with this knit. I'm not a huge fan of garter stitch lace, but this worked out beatifully. The border motifs are lovely and feminine and clearly visible in the stitch pattern. Once I got into the rhythm of the pattern I really enjoyed knitting this and it didn't take me that long either.

P.S. There are many more pictures. I will blog them over the next few days. Also, I'm going to blog this project over at the victorianlacealong.blogspot.com as well. So go ahead and check there if you're interested.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I Am Attempting To Add A Button

Friday, March 09, 2007

Wandering Gemini

That's what I've kind of felt like lately. The wandering gemini. I don't really feel focused on anything in particular, although I've definitely been getting a lot of stuff done. Speaking of getting stuff done, Stephen removed the graffiti and a lot of the paint from our garage door today. Now we have to paint the bare spots.

I feel like I've made some real progress on the Dolpin Lace Scarf over the last couple of days. I'm actually up to repeat 20 or so but I'm not nearly done yet.

It's pretty interesting the way that garter stitch sucks up the yarn. Still loving this yarn, by the way. The pattern calls for 28 pattern repeats, but at this rate I think that a few more are going to be necessary.

I have great plans for tomorrow. I'm going to clean the house. And maybe paint the garage door.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Random Thursday

1. Another day, another box from my in-laws. They sent us a variety of dvd's (including some episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus and the first season of Arrested Development) and the good silver. Seriously. It's very cool.

2. We still have not cleaned the graffitti on the garage. We will though.

3. We're on the last two episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. We Netflixed the entire series. I love the Pythons.

4. Stephen made dinner tonight, hot & spicy broccoli yakisoba. It is fabulous.

5. I cleaned all three litter boxes tonight. Yes. We have three litter boxes.

6. Did you know that daylight savings time starts three weeks early this year? I think that sucks sweaty goat balls just like global warming.

7. John Popper (of Blues Traeveler) was stopped and booked into jail in Ritzville, Washington last night. If you've ever been through Ritzville then you know that it's probably the last place in the world that you want to be booked into jail. He's since been released (but not before police found an entire arsenal worth of weapons in various hidden compartments in his SUV.)

8. The courthouse was shut down for part of the day on Tuesday because a pipe bomb was found in someone's backpack.

9. The knitting continues slowly.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am knitting slowly. Really, I am knitting less. I am knitting less because I am much more tired when I get home. And. I'm much more obssessed with my job right now then I am with my knitting. That being said, the dolphin lace scarf is coming along. Slowly. I am really enjoying it. The yarn (JaegerSpun Zephyr in Cinnabar) is really a dream to work with (did you know that Cinnabar is radioactive? The mineral, not the color.) The pattern is really very lovely. I do have one complaint though. The pattern rows are offset. In other words, you are working a different pattern row on the first half of the scarf than on the second. This requires a kind of mental gymnastics that makes me want to eat my own hair. Other than that it's going really well.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What Do You Do When Your Purse Sags?

You felt it. So that's what I did. I took the punk rock purse that I made last summer . Unfortunately, after about eight months of use it sagged. A lot. The sag factor really hampered its usefulness. It was also dirty. So, I decided that since it needed a good wash anyway it was time to felt it. This is something I've been thinking about doing for quite a while and it just seemed like the best time to do it. So, I emptied it out and threw it in the washing machine in hot water on the heavy duty setting. I washed it twice. By that time the bag had shrunk down quite a bit overall and the stitch definition was pretty much lost. The colored portions actually felted more than the white portions of the bag. I don't know why. After I had felted it I removed the lining (which was now too big and unnecessary, and I sewed the zipper back in. I really like it. It's not too small and it has so much more structure to it now:

I've put all the stuff back in it, and given it a bit of a shave. I'm just very pleased with myself. I've also worked several more repeats of the Dolphin Lace scarf. It's definitely coming along.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dolphin Lace

I worked on the Dolphin Lace scarf while watching Gross Pointe Blank last night. Then I worked on it some more while we watched the lamest movie ever (picked by Stephen): Just Friends, with Amy Smart.

We also debated the relative political leanings of our cats. Stephen contends that Lucy, our orange kitten, is a Goldwater Republican. I, on the other hand, contend that she is a true diplomat and communicator in the tradition of Jimmy Carter. Then we had a fight with a squirt bottle. I won (although Stephen has yet to concede his obvious defeat.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Random Thursday

I watched Guys and Dolls for the first time (with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.) You should too. Frank and Marlon are young and well-proportioned and it's just generally sort of fantastic in a very cheesy musical kind of way.

I am knitting very slowly along on my dolphin lace scarf. Slowly, for a couple of reasons. First, I've been really tired (as usual.) Second, I temporarily lost one of my knitting needles. I left it out on the vanity and one of the household felines knocked it onto the floor.

I finally saw the graffiti on our garage door. Clown smiley face. Nice.

Back to the scarf. It's in garter stitch. I'm not really a big fan of garter stitch. I prefer the smoothness of stockinette knitting. Really, the only advantage to garter stitch is that it's reversible. I am liking the scarf in spite of this though. And, I'm loving the yarn. It really combines the best qualities of wool and silk. The silk content gives the yarn a kind of sheen, but the wool content provides flexibility that would otherwise be lacking.

I joined the Victorian Lace Today Knitalong (at victorianlacealong.blogspot.com.) Since I'm working on my second pattern from the book I figured that I might as well. And I've already found some good advice over there. And lovely pictures. One complaint that I have heard about the book is that there are no close up full sized pictures of the projects. The knit along site is a good place to find some lovely pictures of finished objects.

I've struck up a lively email correspondence with my niece and am very pleased with myself. In addition, she wants to learn to knit!

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