Monday, December 11, 2006

Here, she is, my new bedspread, er, I mean shawl. Geyl started out big, but she blocked even bigger. I think I should have put her on a diet earlier in the game - maybe one skein less of the main color.
As you can see, she's about the size of my area rug, which is almost the size of the room. I do live in a house that resembles a doll's house, with tiny stairs, and tiny rooms, but believe me, Geyl is massive.

And, now for something completely different. Fair Isle! Knitty D and I recorded an end of the year wrap up (yes, the podcast is coming, probably tonight - I hit a snag in my plans last night when I ended up in court until 6:00 - and some juror stole my cellphone), and I threw out there that I thought I wanted to try some color work. So, I originally bought this olive Koigu to finish Geyl, before I switched up to mustard, and I bought this purple, because it's a No Repeat color, and I'm just a sucker for a one of a kind Koigu.
The color didn't turn out so good in the picture - but the problem became that the olive is slightly grey, and the purple has a lot of grey, so when I put the two colors together, they're not as contrasty as I thought they would be - but here it is - my first attempt at Fair Isle.

These are Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts. They're a little snug right now - my gauge is a bit tight - it takes practice carrying that yarn loosely at the join of the double points. But, it was much easier than I thought, and I'm please as punch with myself.

And, for the rest of you who still haven't gotten passed reading that a juror stole my cellphone - yes, it is quite a head shaker - how did that happen? Well, I went over to the courthouse to represent a witness in a homicide. I was meeting with him in a little anteroom right behind the courtroom. I had no idea that the Judge liked her court staff to take already voire dired jurors in there, to either explain to the them that they had been accepted, and where to go, or to tell them that they were dismissed, sayonara. Anyway, court staff, when they discovered me and the client in the room, kicked us to the curb. In my haste, I left my cell in the little room. I waited as several jurors came in and out of the room, and then I asked one of the homicide detectives on the case to get my cellphone, figuring he wouldn't get yelled at. He came out, with my magazine, and a file, and no phone - the only people in that room were jurors - one of them had to have walked off with my cell. Uch. One of the detectives offered to get a list off all the jurors, and track down my phone, but, I don't know - I think they have better crimes to solve. And, it only took my an hour last night to reprogram my phone.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

She keeps growing and growing and growing! Geyl is now up to 538 stitches on the needle, and I still have 19 rows to go, 152 stitches to increase, sheesh!
As you can see I've started the X/O pattern border. I was originally going to do it in an olive color, but we decided that the olive was too grey. Now the olive is going to become gloves or gauntlets, and I switched up to a mustard color. If anyone out there is knitting Geyl, there is some errata.

First, the first chart is off a stitch - don't fear - it's just a typo - if you look at the chart, the black, marker stitch box needs to come before the marker, so it's yarnover, marker, knit one, marker, yarnover, pretty standard for increases in a square shawl. The second issue arises in the start of the XO chart. In the swatch of the chart, the repeat is incorrectly marked - it should be moved over one stitch to the left. The chart is right, the line designating the repeat is wrong. And, if you look at the written, line by line instructions, the repeat is correct. Then, it says to begin the XO pattern after completing row 6 of the ladder stitch chart - this didn't quite work out - you have to begin the XO chart after row 8. Luckily, I think since it's debut at Stitches, I'm the first person knitting Geyl to get to the edging, so hopefully everyone else should be ok.

Over my little mini-break, I knit Geyl mostly on the plane, it was too big to hide under my table at the conference. So, while everyone was getting high on weed, I was getting my high on Socks that Rock in the Bleeding Hearts colorway. Now, before anyone gets worried that I'm a little too obsessed with hearts a bleeding in the AK era, I started these socks the day I got back from Rhinebeck, or a little thereafter, and too me, Bleeding Hearts are a good thing, as in bleeding heart liberal, moi. This is just a baby cable a la Sensational Knitted Socks, and I love them.
Here is sock number one (with Dex waiting patiently in the background for his morning walk). Wait, don't look at the toe - it's a little messed up - you know how I love Kitchener. On the second sock, not pictured, I've rounded the heel, have finished the decreases, and am heading down the homestretch towards the toe. And unlike the gifted Feather and Fan socks, I'm keeping these, and they are mine mine mine!

Speaking of my bleeding heart - our office had an art show sponsored by the mural arts program last night, featuring works by our incarcerated clients. We all went, looking to buy, be supportive, etc., but the only pieces I liked weren't for sale - and they were really good - and, it turns out they were by one of my own clients. I've represented the guy on appeal for a year or so. I've met his family, read five boxes of material about his case, and have corresponded with him. But when I looked at his art, I realized as many pages as I've read, as many words as I've written, I don't know a thing about the kid. Convicted of 2d degree murder for something that happened when he was 17, he's doing life. Long after the trial, DNA testing done on genetic materials recovered from under the victim's fingernails seemed to exonerate him - but did not move his PCRA (post conviction relief act) judge - who determined that "people breath DNA" so the DNA was irrelevant to him, and denied his appeal. Other evidence I won't get into seems to point to his guilt, fairly strongly. Other evidence leads to other suspects that were never properly investigated. As I peered at his art, I wanted it to give me an answer - did you do it? That has never ever mattered to me, guilt has never been relevant. I don't know why I want to know the answer in this case. Maybe if I knew he really did it, I would sleep better at night, with his appeal hanging over my head, and his life in the balance. People always ask me, how can you represent people you know are guilty - that's the easy part of my job. It's those innocent ones that haunt you.

Monday, December 04, 2006

So, what was I doing in Key West - well, to the shame of the conference organizers, I was not smoking weed. Out of all the public defenders to send to NORML's (National Organization for the Legalization of Marijuana Laws)national conference, our office sends the non-toker. Which, of course, was fine for me - I met my friend Ruth (the recipient of my first Socks that Rock feather and fan socks) in Fort Lauderdale, and we drove up the coast to Key West. She convinced me that I would rather drive with her and see the Keys than take the 20 minute flight I had scheduled - but, unfortunately, we hit the road after sundown, I couldn't see shit, and it started to rain while we had the convertible's top down. Ah well. At least I was still in Florida. Ruth and I went sailing, had a few spectacular dinners, and after she left, I made use of the manmade beach next to the hotel. I also took in the Conch Train and got my bit of history, and I went to the Key West Xmas parade - very odd to be singing about sleighbells and snowmen in 83 degree weather.

But, from the second we stepped into the Norml compound, all you could smell was weed. Unbelievable - these folks started smoking at 8:30 a.m., and smoked round the clock - at the conference, at the restaurant, at the bar, you name it - they lit it. Now, after Ruth left on Friday, I didn't hang out too much with these 70's potheads, not because I don't smoke, but because they were for the most part, well . . . I won't say it - but, let me just put it this way. I was the only public defender at the conference. Everyone else was a member of the private bar - and man were they high on themselves. Crack after crack after crack about the dumb pd, the ineffective pd, the pd this, yadda yadda . . . enough already. The ugliest part of the conference was the ethics portion of the program "how to collect your fee" where ethics were on a sliding scale with how much money you were making on a particular case. There were only about five woman at this conference, and no African Americans, except for one presenter on the last day, who gave his schpiel and took off. The signs that hung around the conference said, "Stop Arresting Responsible Marijuana Smokers" and by the end of the conference, it was clear who they meant - stop arresting us, the rich white men. Before the conference I was on the fence about legalization. I definitely think it has a legitimate place in the treatment of cancer patients, and others who suffer from debilitating pain as a result of disease. But, as far as recreational use - not if its just for these guys.

If you've never been to Key West, every night there's a party to celebrate the setting sun. The sun sets every night in Philly too, and sometimes, in the summer, over the Art Museum, it's quite spectacular. But, I never really think about it. It happens every night, so what? After Ruth left, I went to Mallory Square, the center of the party, which, in this off season, was not so crowded, and grabbed a seat on the dock, my feet dangling over the Gulf, almost close enough to skim the top of the water. And, I watched as the sun went down. Is this really something to sing and dance about every night? I thought, in my somewhat glum outlook in the new A.K. era, and I thought, you know what - yeah, why not? why shouldn't it be? I told Kenny recently, when he was boo hooing about something, in any given circumstance you're confronted with choosing to be happy, or not to be happy, and you always choose to be miserable - why not try choosing to be happy? And, at that moment, I chose to be happy, enjoy the sunset, and the accompany reverie, and ever since Friday, sundown, I've definitely had the attitude, the sun's going down, the sun will come up, and life is indeed good.

Brrrr - it's cold up here! After spending four days in tropical Key West, it certainly was quite a shock to the system to return to blustery Philly. So, for anyone who's suffering from winter blues, and needs a bit of sunshine - here's a Key West sunset just for you: