But Who Cares?!?!? I've Got An FO!!!

Birch is DONE! WOOHOO!!!! My Mom is so in love with this shawl I thought she should model it for you- see what a versatile knit this is!

Yes, my Mom is as big a ham as I am.

This was a great project- I'm contemplating making another. The finished product is HUGE, big enough to wrap around for a really cozy effect.

I made a major mistake over and over again in the first five rows, but fortunately you can't tell at all. I use stitch markers to set off each pattern repeat. The Birch repeat is offset by one stitch every 8 rows. I didn't realize I needed to move my stitch markers over 1 until I got to the fifth pattern repeat, so the whole first five rows are off by one. OH WELL. I was really worried it would be a hideous, glaring error, but it truly is invisible.

I highly, highly recommend this project.


Birch, from Rowan 34
Kidsilk Haze
Brittany Birch needles, size 8.

I started this sometime in January? I think? Really ought to keep better track of this stuff!


Yes! Vacation!

It's official: I'm going to London for Spring Break. I leave on Tuesday the 14th and come back on Sunday the 19th. Ya'll have NO IDEA how badly I need a treat after this week.

Yay- something to look forward to!

If you've been, or live there, or whatever- what should I do/see? I've never been to England before and am desperate for suggestions.


Current Knitting Status

Since I've got legal deadlines out the wazoo (trial at work, opinion for the judge, law review/writing requirement deadline/health law exam/etc etc etc) right now, I'm naturally thinking a WHOLE LOT about knitting.

Current Project Status:
Only two things on the needles.

Birch, from Rowan 34, in KidSilk Haze color 592, a lovely blue.

Only 5 pattern repeats to go! (Started off with 30!) I did make some major mistakes, but I'll save the post-mortem until it's finished.

Socks. Jaywalkers to be precise, out of my much beloved Vesper Sock Yarn in color Sweetwater. (I have 2 more skiens waiting for me. WHEE!!!)

Alas and alack, these don't fit. Can't even get the *@&#@!% sock over my heel. So, they're for a dear friend who looooves socks and whose feet are very small compared to mine. This is the first sock, so obviously, it'll be a while before she gets these. Yay- wool socks just in time for summer!



Have you seen The Garter Belt yet? Whoa! Some very cool patterns! I am way impressed....


I don't get it....

What is the deal with Ice Dancing? It just looks so silly compared to pairs figure skating. And with a component called "the twizzle section," I have a hard time taking it seriously. And don't even get me started on the costumes...

What I Really Want

I'm not going to get in to what's really bothering me right now, but it's causing a bit of restlessness that's making me think about other things I want right now.

Right now, I really want a vacation. A nice, quiet, out of the ordinary pace of life kind of place. Maybe a day of skiing or a beach to lay on, some really good shopping, and a quiet place where I can sit and just be, without having to think of all the other things I should be doing, without worrying about the ripple effect a single pending decision will have on what feels like every aspect of the rest of my life.




Favorite FOs

Ok, I did a parade of horribles and lost some subscribers :-) so it's time to tout my talents and reassure myself that I really can knit!

The handknit item I reach for most often:

My Making Waves Socks (scroll down). I love them. They're machine washable (love that Lorna's) and such a happy color!

The handknit item I am proudest of:

My Charlotte. I love this thing. It has been reblocked since this photo, and is just glorious. It took me three weeks to knit from start to finish. I LUUUURV Koigu. And I am really really really proud of my color sense in picking out which shades to use.

The handknit item I love to wear when it's really cold outside:

My Cherry Scarf. I love this thing! So fun! I thought I had lost it this winter and was devastated. Turned out that I had hung it in my closet with my other scarves one night while cleaning my room. I won't ever do that again! :-)

The handknit GARMENT that wasn't a total failure:

Orangina. Ignore the boobage- I had put it on over a t-shirt to take the picture. Looks way more normal usually. I love that it doesn't sag at the neck- I made it rather tight and it fits just right, which prevents the droopy droopy thing most of these on the web are doing.

The handknit item my Mom, the fashionista, likes the best:

Clapotis: This was a gift for my mother, queen of accessories, and she loves it. The yarn was CHEAP ($10 for the entire thing, and it's silk ribbon!) and the scarf version of clapotis came out really well. It also matches my Mom's favorite jacket, so it has seen a lot of wear.

Best Baby Item:

This baby blanket turned out so well. It was super soft, 100% cotton and machine washable (Bernat Cotton Tots) from Joann's or Michael's or some place... But the drape was perfect and the recipient loved it.

And the mitred square rug from an old IW magazine (free online pattern!)

This wasn't so fun to actually make, but I love the result.

I am really pleased with all of these projects. I love the accessories- in part because fit doesn't matter as much and in part because you can do wild color without looking too rediculous (shut up about the socks- I love them despite the rediculous hot pink and yellow tv static). The variegated yarns work here, whereas I would NEVER in a MILLION YEARS knit a garment out of variegated yarn- can only end badly.

And Orangina works because it was such a fine gauge yarn knit with little to no ease (maybe even negative ease)- thin, form-fitting instead of the bulky crap sweaters featured a week or so ago.

Bad Jenny

Would it be really bad of me to skip my afternoon class next Friday to attend a spindle spinning class at my LYS? I have two spindles and a *@$#load of fiber, but I can't seem to get the hang of it by myself....


I'm back!

Got back in town Sunday night, and it has been a crazy week.

I'm on deadline again for my law review note, so expect LOTS of posting in the next few days as I continue my procrastination efforts.



I'm off to see the BF for the weekend. (Well, I'll be off to see the BF on Friday night. But this is the last chance I'll have to post before then, so there you go.)

YAY! See ya'll on Monday.



I got my Christmas present from Meg today and I LOVE THEM! Check out my SOCKS!

Aren't they fabulous???? I had a hard time capturing the pattern detail- it's slightly lacy, with a really cool art deco looking motif sandwiched between seed stitch panels... And they fit perfectly! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!


Skeletons in My Closet.

Pull up a chair, a cup of tea, and some knitting, my friends. It's confession time.

I want desperately to be a sweater knitter. I have made a few runs at it, in fact. They have almost all turned out horribly. Don't believe me?

(Warning: The offending garments look kind of ok in the following pictures. The camera lies. Trust me.)

(I should have cut my head out of these pictures- I cannot believe that three of these have been on the internet in public for well over a year. Ay carumba. Oh well.)

Exhibit A. My Debbie Bliss Biker Jacket.

I knit this sweater and finished it a year and three months ago. And hated it. So I ripped out the zipper and tore off all the trim. I reknitted smaller, tighter, simpler, non-biker version of the trim, finished that four months ago. And I still hate it.

Problems with this Sweater:
  • The yarn is completely and totally wrong for this project. See the next few bullets for examples of how this problem has manifested itself.
  • The yarn a fabulously soft 50/50 wool/cotton blend, and it was FREE. The yarn drapes really well. Which is exactly the opposite of the stiff wool tweed used in the original pattern. This is supposed to be a jacket with standup collar and really bitchin biker jacket trim. Instead of standing up, my collar and waistband flopped over and draped limply- hardly biker chic.
  • This fabulous drapey, non-biker fabric is horribly unsuited to zippers. The bands stretched out of shape as I carefully set in the zipper, so it never laid flat. In fact, when zipped, the cardigan poofs out like a third boob. Mmmm, sexy. Yeah. So I ripped out the zippper, which brings us to the next problem...
  • I currently have no way to close this @#$@ sweater. It's not well-suited to zippers. There are no button bands in the existing trim, which was knitted AS A PART OF THE BODY. I don't know how to fix this. Ugh.
  • The color is awful on me. I can't do muddy colors, beiges, tans, mid-browns. I look like death warmed over. Yeah. And the collar on this thing is a high, stand-up collar, so it puts this incredibly unflattering shade right up next to my face. Brilliant.

And yet, I can't bring myself to rip. The fit of the sweater is actually pretty good. And it's soft and comfy. Maybe I should weave in all the ends and just wear it as an open unfastenable cardigan? Ugh again.

Exhibit B. My White Cardigan.

My Mom has a sentimental soft spot for white cardigans. She still has her mother's favorite white cardigan. I thought I'd continue the tradition when I decided to make this, out of an old Rowan, with the now-discontinued Cotton Ease, which is a great yarn.

I have never worn this sweater. Why? Let me count the ways...
  • It's too short through the body. AND I extended it by a good 3 inches past the pattern schematics. I HATE having my lower back exposed when I sit down. And cropped sweaters=notsogood with jeans that sit anywhere below my belly button.
  • It's worsted weight, but has 3/4 sleeves. Too hot to wear in the height of summer, when white 3/4 sleeved garments might be really good, but WHITE and hence not really appropriate in the fall or winter.
  • It's also a little bigger than I intended width-wise. Which just isn't all that attractive.
  • The buttons are all wrong- too small. Easily fixable, now that I think about it...
  • I have no idea what to wear it with. It looks rediculous with the summery dress I thought it would be perfect for, and it just doesn't seem to work.
  • Looking at this picture, it doesn't look so bad. It just doesn't wear well in person.

Exhibit C. My Onde tank.

Oh, the horror! I was a pretty new knitter at the time and was sooooo excited to be taking part in such a COOL knitalong.
  • I should have used one of Phildar's patterns for this yarn, and splurged on the extra couple balls it would have taken to make a fashionable-ish sweater. Instead, I trolled the internet for a free pattern that wouldn't use too much yarn. Pattern itself is ok, but totally wrong for the yarn. Do we see a pattern here???
  • The fit. It's too short, and too wide. It sits just above the waist of all my bottoms, and my mid-section is not barable. Sorry. It's just not. I know it doesn't look THAT bad in this picture- I had yanked on it for half an hour before finally settling for this picture.
  • My seaming is HORRENDOUS. OHMYGOD. I obviously made this before I fell madly in love with the mattress stitch. (I'm serious- I love seaming sweaters, and am pretty decent at it, this project notwithstanding.)
  • I actually threw this away last summer. I had ripped it out after knitting about half of it, and reknit. The yarn did not fare well. I knew it couldn't take a reknitting, and at any rate there was no way I could undo those seams. And it looked like CRAP on me. So, it got chucked.

Exhibit D. My Pistachio Green Tank top.

Seriously- what was I thinking? Issues? You betcha.
  • What is with this color? Cotton Ease. Great yarn, terrible color palette. Lesson learned.
  • I cannot, I repeat, cannot do rolled hems. I like my curves, but rolled hems are not. good. with. hips.
  • This top was actually long enough. Miracle! Actually, now that I look at the picture, I can see that I am HOLDING DOWN THE HEM. Ugh. Is it a roll issue or a lenght issue? Who knows?
  • But the shoulders pulled in funny and always exposed le bra straps. Drove me nuts.
  • I tried to give this to one of the knit night girls, and it didn't fit anyone. I can't remember if I chucked it or not, but if I didn't, I will when I find it.

A couple things I have learned from this sweater disaster retrospective:
  • I need to make longer, slimmer fitting garments.
  • I have a lot left to learn about matching yarns to projects, but I'm getting better at it.
  • I am NOT ALLOWED to make any more worsted-weight summer garments. DUH!

And tune in next week for my one successful sweater! And maybe a follow up series of my favorite knitted projects of all time!



Apparently one of the knitting lawyers out there went and put together a WebRing for Knitting Lawyers!

This is soooooooo coooooool.

I found out about the new ring while surfing the Knitting Musing blog, where Knittin' Honey left the 411.

I totally joined. YAY!


This Legal Writing Stuff

This legal writing stuff is hard. Good, but hard.

The thing I'm struggling with right now are the three types of legal writing I am engaged in on a daily basis right now. In the mornings, I have to think like a conservative federal judge, in the afternoon I have to think like a liberal plaintiff's attorney, and in the evenings I have to think like a legal scholar.

My externship for the federal judge involves very formal writing, from the perspective of the court. I'm working on research memos supporting an opinion or decision that the judge will publish an opinion about. This writing is very much about "the law" and "precedent." It's important to include some background material and to do a thorough analysis, almost handholding the reader through the logic. The writing is very judgmental: this is THE WAY it is done. It has to be precise, concise, formal, and correct.

My job at a state-level plaintiff's firm is hugely different. This is advocacy and persuasive writing, pure and simple. It's about selecting the best, most emotionally appealing arguments and using them to my advantage. This kind of writing is more about "the right thing to do" than it is about "the law." It's very impassioned, but it has to be simple, understandable, and emotional.

My law review note (which I'm knee deep in now and will be through the end of February) is a whole different ball of wax. This is scholarly writing, which feels like it has to be dry, boring, and scholarly. It feels right now like a "kitchen sink" approach- if it might be useful, throw it in, and we'll figure out what really matters over the course of our year and a half long editing cycle. Oy. This writing is more about "look how smart and impressive I am as I ramble on for 150 pages about the obscure depths of my oh-so-fascinating note on class action lawsuits." It feels pretentious and overbearing, especially given that I'm a law student who knew NOTHING about class actions 6 months ago.

All three types of writing are fun, but I'm feeling very intimidated by all three right now. I have just kinda figured out my one writing style- dense, with lots of quotes- and now I have to morph into three very different voices/thinking styles every day. Fortunately, everyone (except, ironically, the law review editors) seems to understand that I am a student and that I don't know fully what I'm doing in each voice. They seem to get that their job is to teach me how to be that voice in an effective way. That's reassuring, at least.

Don't get me wrong- I love all of it, and I love learning all of it. I just didn't realize how HARD it would be to change gears from one mode to another every 4 hours, as I'm doing right now. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with a good dash of Johnnie Cochran thrown in for good measure. Did I mention that I'm feeling a bit schizophrenic?