Thursday, August 30, 2007


After 12 years as a public defender, and 16 years as a Center City resident, I've finally managed to become a victim of crime - sort of.

Breaking it down - am I really a victim? To the lay person, I guess every victim is an "innocent" victim. But in my line of work, across the board -- judges, police officers, district attorneys - there's a definite recognition, and ultimate distinction and subsequent disparate treatment between the innocent victims -- the store owner who is robbed, the laundress who is bludgeoned, the carowner who's car window is busted, and the not-so-innocent "victim" - the drug dealer who's killed in a shoot out over a corner, the loser on the receiving end of a mutual fist-fight, a junkie who falls asleep, and is robbed -- no one has "clean" hands, so to speak. This distaste for the non-innocent "victim" is apparent in jury verdicts - clear first degree murder cases come back as not guilty's, or third degrees (unintentional killings, kind of like an aggravated assault gone bad); many cases involving equally bad parties lead to out-right acquittals.

I've been mulling this victim concept in the context of the Michael Vick debacle. No question - what he did was horrific, heinous, stomach-turning, and he deserves to be punished. But, when Vick's deeds come up in conversation, I gently remind my companion/s that my clients oftentimes do much worse things to PEOPLE, and maybe we should be more concerned about what we are doing to each other as human beings, and not worry so much about ballplayers on steroids, athletes who gamble, and, this obvious worst case scenario - the animal abusers. Why do we care soooo much (and I'm not saying we should not care at all, obviously we should) about the Vick incident, yet we don't have daily conversations about the 277 bodies stacked up in the streets of Philadelphia? And the answer I've gotten is simply - the animals are innocent, and can't protect themselves.

Crime, apparently, does not happen to the blameworthy. Or, if it does, is it just not a crime?

A crime, techinically speaking, is the noncompliance with a legislatively enacted law. And if we unconcerned about gunplay between 2 nefarious characters, and we're not moved by robberies that occur between to drug addicts, are we now defining crime in a different way? And for a sympathies to be truly swayed, and our hearstrings tugged, the victim should have floppy ears and a tail. So, it's with these questions floating around in my mind, that I can only say I was victim of crime, sort of, when my house was clearly burglarized Friday night.

So, I went out after work on Friday, had a few glasses of wine - ok, probably four glasses of wine. 2 were at the Samson Street Oyster House with my friend Sue, and I returned to the office to finish happy hour with my girls in my unit. Then, I went to Chris's Jazz Cafe, had half a beer, realized I was done for the night, and went home. Before going to bed, I made a few phone calls, crashed on the couch, then before going upstairs, I went to lock my front door. It was one of those humid nights - crazy humid, and my door was so swollen, that I could not get the deadbolt to shut. So, I was like f- it, what could happen - is some guy going to come down my street and try every door? I went to bed, and in the morning, when I came downstairs, my front door was wide open, to the street. Huh, I thought. I looked around. Nothing appeared to be ransacked, out of place, or missing - my laptop sat on my ottoman right by my door. My handbag was on a chair. Huh, I guess when the door become unswollen, it opened. Before I left for Rosie's for my Saturday morning shift, I looked for my wallet. That's odd, I thought - I can't find it. I knew that my phone had been in my little wallet that is more like a pouch. Was I that drunk that I left it at work, took the phone out and just don't remember? Must be. So, I went in to the office - no wallet. I checked my account. No money missing. Who steals a wallet and doesn't even try to use the VISA card? Must be lost.

I cancelled my one card, and began the process of replacing my id. On Monday, I got a call from one of my neighbors around the corner. He had found my wallet, and my make-up bag, that I hadn't even realized was missing, next to his car, that had been broken into that same night. Someone had really been in my house. When I got home on Monday, I inspected my stuff, and realized that my digital camera was also gone.

I had lunch with Kenny's old partner, Detective Bobby yesterday, and he was like, well, did you call the police? What was I going to say - um, I was so drunk I couldn't even remember if I had my wallet at home, didn't even know that stuff had been stolen, and, oh, by the way, I went to bed without locking my door because I was to lazy to wrestle with the swollen deadbolt. Yep, I would have made an excellent complainant - the dumb ass who didn't lock her door. Hardly an "innocent" victim.

I don't really have a point in all of this - just ideas that I've been thinking about -

And, unfortunately, since I don't have a digital camera, no photos of my now finished Brooks Farm sweater, or the Tangled Yoke Cardigan that I started in Avocado Felted Tweed.

Now that's a crime . . .

Monday, August 27, 2007

A One Colored Web

Back in April, or was it May? time flies when you're just knitting along . . . Rosie's hosted a Charlotte's Web Along. I had no interest for several reasons. First, it was after work on a Friday. Now I know, there are many of you out there that are firm believers that there is no such time that is a bad time for knitting. But, let's face it, Happy Hour is a bad time for knitting. The second reason, I'm not all that fond of Charlotte. I had heard rumors about the screwed up charts, rumors usually joined with expletives. And, as much as I love Koigu, I'm not the biggest fan of mixing and matching skeins. But, I think the true sticking point was the fringe and the crochet edging. I'm willing to trip back to the 70's for a poncho (see below), but fringe? Not for me.

But, try as I may - I got sucked in. Judy, who doesn't have a blog, and I can't link to her, but she can be found at Rosie's on any given Thursday, picked her colors, cast on - and I would like to say she went to town, her needles flew, her lace laced up - but that was not the case. Every day in my email, there was another question about the chart - sigh, I broke down and cast on.

Because I was only casting on in solidarity, I wanted an easy knit - no switching colors, no weaving in ends, no hassle, no nonsense - just straight up the chart for me. So, I went with one colorway , and I think this is my favorite Koigu colorway of all time. You may remember seeing it before when I started Eunny's entrelac socks. The shawl took about four skeins, maybe less, and I still have one skein left, so I'm thinking about doing a matching hat, and being all matchy matchy this fall.

I also completely abandoned the crochet/fringe edging, and opted for a picot bind off in a solid color, olive. I still have about four skeins of this olive stashed away, and I'm thinking of one of Cookie's socks.

For Koigu purists, I'm sure this Charlotte is an abomination, an affront to all things Koigu. I know that part of the beauty of Koigu is too mix and match skeins, paint color landscapes, and kind of throw caution to the wind. Personally, I just think there's so much going on in one skein of Koigu, why mess with perfection? Maybe I'm just rationalizing about being too lazy to switch up the colors, and weave in the ends, maybe I've done a disservice to loyal Koiguists, but I think it looks pretty good.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Survival Skills

Who says you need to be a Boy Scout to be resourceful? Ok, I probably couldn't find my way out of the woods using the sun as my compass. I also could not build a fire, or open a can with my teeth to save my life. Changing a tire is equally as doubtful. But, in a pinch, I can make stitchholders out of cocktail picks.

Knitting like a mad woman on a cocktail night at the pool (yes, the pool has an open bar), I just could not stop until I had finished my niece's cutie patootie pink dress (can you believe it's from Knitters?????).

There was no time to spare - it was July, and she's constantly growing, Growing, GROWING. As you may recall, I started a Wallabee for her awhile back, in a mix of Carol's Black Bunny in a rainbow colorway, and Koigu - but, alas, she had already outgrown it before I got around to finishing. That was not going to happen this time - no rum and coke was going to stop me, not a white sangria, or a lite beer.

In the back of my mind, I knew that if I did get that finishitis thing that I've been known to get when it comes to kid's clothes, it could always just end up being a long top . . . and then a cropped top . . . but, no, I was determined. I was going to finish it while it was still a dress. So, when I got to the top, and had to knit one side at a time, the fact that I didn't have my tools with me was not going to stop me. I checked out the available gear at the bar - cocktail stirrers - nah, too slick, no friction to secure the stitches. A plastic straw - too long - no scissors. And then, someone ordered a martini - huh, the olives stay on, why not stitches. And the cocktail pick was reborn as a stitchholder. I was free to knit the second side of the dress, and then the back.

And to think, I learned this very important survival skill having never earned one Brownie badge, and most importantly, never having sold a box of Girl Scout cookies.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What's wrong with me - afraid of a little Fair Isle? - look what I made!

At first, I was a little intimidated by this lacey poncho from Wrap Style - five different lace charts, five different gauges? Heh? And for a gauge challenged person like me, that was not only daunting, but completely unappealing. I'm unlikely to make one swatch, let alone five.

To swatch or not to swatch? That was the hard choice I faced. I haven't always been known for making the best choices - I chose a job where I make no money, and barely stay financially afloat on a week to week basis. I've picked oh-so-shitty "boyfriends" (using the term loosely, because it's easier just to use that shorthand than the long string of expletives they really were). Leaping before looking has been my motto. And, luckily, in knitting - that's all good. Plunge right in, and the worst that can happen is that you have to rip it out. No harm, no foul. Maybe a few frown lines, maybe a few hairs pulled out of my head, but I don't have to live with the ramifications of my bad choices for very long - rip! All better!

So, having gotten gauge for the bottom lace pattern, I just figured, what the hell, I was good to go. What's the worst that can happen?

Ok, the alpaca is a little sticky, very like mohair. Ripping probably would have been the end of this yarn. But, I put that thought out of my mind.
And, sigh of relief - it did indeed all work out.

And, no, I'm not advocating the abandonment of swatching - but sometimes, it really is prudent to throw caution to the wind, plunge forward, not be so anal, have faith that it's all going to work out.

So, while not swatching turned out not to be such a bad choice . . . why on earth did I make a poncho. A poncho? What was I thinking.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Baby Wendy

Could anything be better than having a candy bar named after you? Yes, yes, yes! My own namesake yarn!
When Courtney made her pilgrimage to TNNA, she ordered custom colors for all of the Rosie's staffers. This lovely thing is mine mine mine! (By the way, notice the tan!)
So, what is it, you ask - beside your name, of course. It's Pasttimes Soy Silk. It comes in a million colors, and it's yumm-o! And, not only does it come spun up - it comes in roving as well.

The last time we had this 550 yard bargain ($11/skein) in the store, I snatched up a gold colorway, and like lightening, knitted Swallowtail in all of a week, and gifted it to my mom for Mother's Day:
I know, the picture is crap, I don't have a close up - but it was really pretty, and mom was tickled. And, with those new Addi Lace Turbo needles, the nups were a snap.

If I had any complaints about this super soft, great definition laceweight yarn, it would be that the yarn is well, saturated; I did walk around looking like I had gold dust on my hands for about a week. But, hey, a little soap and water never hurt anyone - it was definitely worth it. Once it was soaked and blocked (and let me tell you, it looked great pre-blocked), there were no more inky ickies.

And, what am I going to make with the 2 skeins of Me that I've set aside. Perhaps Bee Fields, that's what's in my head at that moment. We shall see. Right now, I'm just going to savor the label - who cares about the yarn!

So, pop by Rosie's - pick up my colorway - or any of the other staffers - mixed in the heap are Courtney, Lisa, Stacey, Joceyln, Judy, Laura and Kate - and on and on!
Hey, thanks to everyone who has commented on my posts - I'm really going to make an effort to update at least twice a week.

When I got back on line, I really wanted to change the look of my blog. While I'm still a Pretty in Pink girl, I just wasn't feeling the old template, and I wanted something fresh. I felt like it needed a new coat of paint; it was time to redecorate. Apparently, however, there has been a snag in the rehab process.

I've had a few comments regarding the font color - apparently, on some browsers, the font is yellow. On my browser (MS Internet Explorer), the font is the well-intended, easy on the eyes, black on a white background. The codes in my template are for black on a white background. When I go into the "customize template" and it shows me what colors are used in my blog, the only yellow is the edging around the blog itself. However, I understand on Safari, the font is well, f'd up. Honestly, I am not out to cause anyone the loss of their eyesight. If anyone can tell me how to solve this dilemna, I'm happy to do so. If I find someone with Safari, will my codes look different? Will I be able to change them?

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fall Forward

There are many life lessons contained in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Never stand too close to the fire in your petticoat. Christmas isn't Christmas without any presents. Young ladies must always have a fresh pair of gloves. Don't skate on a not so frozen pond. I could go on and on. But, perhaps the most important lesson, other than a girl's best friends are her sisters, is that you should always write what you know.

Is the same true for knitting - should you knit what you know, or at least what you have?

I ponder this question while I plot and compose my fall knitting lineup, always cognizant of Jo March's failed published stories (gothic/horror romances) compared to her one true success (a small, lovely bound book, about her dead sister, appropriately named, My Beth).

So, what I know, and what I have - I have a perfectly lovely bag of Kathmandu Aran (although why it's labeled as an Aran at 4.5 stitches to the inch, and not a worsted, I'm not sure) in Ivy for this oldie but goodie from Interweave Knits a couple of winters ago, the Norah Gaughan Nantucket Jacket. I've been searching for the perfect cabley project for my yummy Kathmandu (a wool, silk, cashmere tweed), and I'm not sure if this is it. Is it it? My hesitation has let my eye wonder to this: -

What I sort of know, and what I do not have. What don't I know about this project? The cabled pattern is in the yoke, it is a bit twisted, and it's a bit of uncharted territory, but I wouldn't be a complete stranger in a strange land. And, of course, I don't have the yarn. Eunny Jang's Twisted Yoke Cardigan from the new Interweave, calls for 8-9 balls of Rowan felted tweed - which of course, I would have to buy (as opposed to the Kathmandu which has been sitting patiently in my stash for almost a year now), and have quietly put aside at Rosies - in this color, avocado.

As you all know, I'm never opposed to buying yarn, but really - I was jonesing for that Kathmandu. At the end of the season last year, I had Courtney order up 2 bags for me, pronto. I bugged her, nagged her - is it here yet, is it here yet? And, then it was here, and I was like, eh. That old you just want it 'cause you can't have it thing, I guess. And, once I could have it, I threw it in the closet- and it has been languishing there ever since.

I should cast it on, shouldn't I? I should cast on the Nantucket Jacket, because it's smart, stylish, and a natural for this yarn. It's what I know, it should be where my heart is, right? Or at the very least, I should cast on the Twisted Yoke Cardigan -- I may have to buy the yarn, but I know that it's something I can finish, something I have all of the skills for - either one would be as warming to the cockles as My Beth.

But, my heart, apparently, is all about gothic romance, cloak and dagger, suicide for love, poison potions, witches, and evil sorcerors - because I can't get the idea of fair isling out of my head. But, it could be, like a Jo March production, that paid the rent, and Beth's medical bills, and Beth's trip to the ocean, but at the end of the day, was crap. I've never fair isled (well, except for the End Paper Mitts that I never finished, and a really really nasty looking snowflake hat) never steaked, NEVER CUT MY KNITTING . . . what the hell am I thinking.

I'm thinking that these two sweaters are fabulous, and I can't decide which one I like better.
Both Eunny Jang, the one on the left is Autumn Rose from Simply Shetland 4. The one on the right, the Venezia Pullover from the same Interweave as the above Nantucket Jacket.

Am I out of my mind? I've never worked with more than 2 colors. While I've knit with yarn in both hands, I'm not so hot at it, never been a strength. But, I'm thinkin', I've got the lace thing down, I can read a chart. If I can make holes, can't I make color?

And, maybe that's what all of this is about - a little color. It's true, some of the best fiction grows out of writing what you know - but sometimes, you need a bit of the nutty professor, a little Isaac Asimov, a dash of Star Wars - big dreams!

But, this big dream could be an expensive undertaking, and there's a high percentage that I will HATE knitting it, and in turn, a high percentage of potential failure.

Crazy! Insane!

So, everyone knows I'm going to do it, right?

Monday, August 13, 2007

What Month is It?

Ok, so I've been a little lax - I've been, um, madly trying cases? No . . . Prepping for a half dozen trials coming up? Well, not really . . . Actually, I've been working on my tan. And let me tell you, I AM TAN.

I'd show you a picture, but the battery is dead on my digital camera.

I have, however, since March, knit many many things. And, that's one of the reasons I haven't been blogging - there's so much to write about, I have no idea where to begin. Chronologically? Alphabetically? Thematically? It was like I took a vacation from blogging, and then I needed a vacation from my vacation, and . . . well, no more excuses, I'll just have to figure it out.

So, here's a preview of what's to come - my Koigu frenzy, my lace madness, my one sock wonders, and what's foremost on my mind - my fall lineup.

I'd promise more tomorrow, but that might be pushing it . . .