Monday, April 30, 2012

Some Assembly Required

There comes a time in every woman's life when she will be confronted by a flat-packed box of 40+ parts, an Allen wrench and a set of instructions that indicate that "some assembly may be required."  Usually a certain Swedish furniture company is involved.

This weekend is was this.  An Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel.

I don't know why, but when I finally ordered a spinning wheel after two years of saving and wishing, I, for some reason, thought that it would show up on my front steps, fully assembled, oiled up and ready to go.  All I would have to do is gently place the drive band on the wheel, touch foot to pedal and be creating beautiful, even, perfectly plied yarn almost immediately.

Not the case.   I had to wait in line at my apartment building's office to pick up the package.  Open it up to find...

...a million little parts and instructions entirely in pictures (helpful pictures with a cute little Kiwi bird leading the way, but pictures nonetheless) and a suspicious lack of tools in my household.

I managed to scrounge up a hammer and a screw driver and, knowing that I could either study for a ConLaw exam or become a do-it-yourselfer spinning wheel style, I tackled the project.

I messed up a couple of things, but fixed them.  Once, I was absolutely stumped.  I couldn't find the answer online.  YouTube has NEVER failed me like this before.  So I called my dad.  He suggested I just "hit it with the hammer."  Unlike when I have computer or toaster problems, this really did do the trick.

As I was finishing up, the lovely Laura stopped by (also avoiding ConLaw, I suspect) and rewarded my efforts with the perfectly appropriate amount of enthusiasm.  Taught her the basics of the wheel (the very few that I know...) and she spun a little yarn.  Perfect!

Now if only I could figure out how to keep the wheel from distracting me from work...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Here are three things I know about criminal law:
  1. Burglary is the unlawful entry into a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a felony therein
  2. Depraved heart murder is murder committed with an abandoned and malignant heart (that certainly clarifies the matter, doesn't it?)
  3. I should know a whole lot more about Crim if I am supposed to take a closed-book exam tomorrow....

It's not looking good for me, is it?  And next week is going to be even worse with Administrative and Constitutional Law Exams waiting for me.  AND people keep sending me interesting things in the mail.

My mom sent me the Free-Range Knitter, the 2008 book by the Yarn Harlot/Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  I don't get all the references to the perils of trying to raise kids, but still makes me laugh out loud.

Jha sent me this one for my birthday.  I had never heard of it before.  The patterns in it are nothing super-exciting, but the discussion of knitting's juxtaposition with feminism is pretty thoughtful.  I'm enjoying it.

Basically, my friends and family want me to fail at school.  Thanks, guys.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Sis Awesome

My little sister is awesome.  She is an amazing artist, extremely smart, and a badass feminist.  She produces an art magazine, too, if you wanna take a look here.

She saw some graffiti on the side of a building near where she lives that was, um, sexist bullshit.  The bar owner refused to wash it off or paint over it, so she went a little renegade and fixed it herself.

This was she painted over it.

And here she is with her work.  Looks just like her, right?
Note: I don't usually condone graffiti, but when I have to choose between sexist graffiti and my sister's artwork, it isn't a hard choice.
She sent me a copy for my birthday...any suggestions on how to display it?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Update: Stitches South

This weekend I went to Stitches South, a big knitting convention in Atlanta.  Given the fact that exams start this week and I haven't done nearly enough studying yet, I could only stay for one day, but it was spent productively.

First up was a class called Design Your Dream Sweater with Leslye Solomon (can I just say, I love this lady).  I learned the basic skills for designing my own sweaters.  Seemed pretty intuitive, but doing that much swatching doesn't sound like much fun.
This is a sweater chart.  It's hard to see here, but each little grid square represents a stitch.  You do calculations based on your gauge, translate that into how many stitches to cast on/cast off and then draw out what you want your sweater to look like.

Over lunch I visited the market area.
Hundreds of booths hosting all kinds of knitting related items from yarn, to bison fiber to baskets and yarn bowls, to knitting needles and patterns.

I got some silk mawata, which are squares of silk cocoons stretches out and layed in layers.  You pull the layers apart and just knit them like any other fiber or yarn.  I resisted jumping on the mawata band wagon  a la the Yarn Harlot but now it might be time to try it out. They were dyed by Fiber Charmer, a local Atlanta dyer.  The colors are a lot more interesting and complex in real life. 
This yarn bombed bike was in the Atlanta area knit shops booth.  I wonder if it works...maybe my bike needs an overhaul...

In the afternoon I took a class on entrelac, the process of knitting in a cool diamond shaped pattern. 

The practice project was a beer cozy.  I feel very proud (of the knitting, not of the heinous color choices).
The teacher, Gwen Bortner wrote the book on entrelac.  Very, very smart, if intense, lady.

Great day.  Now I am hitting the books REALLY hard.  Property exam Wednesday, followed by Crim on Friday.  Whew....

Friday, April 20, 2012


Folks!  It's my birthday!  Feel free to celebrate in an appropriate manner!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Purple Sweater in Progress

Hey guys, I apologize.  I mentioned that I did this knit-along almost two months ago and then never said another word.  Here is my progress in a series of progressively worse photos.



It's also a nice study in the disaster that is the haircut I am trying to grow out.  And in how to use your head to cover up the inappropriate art work you have hanging in front of the only mirror in your house.

It's the Classic Raglan Pullover from Jane Richmond in Cascade 220 in colorway "Regal."  I am working on that left sleeve.  It's taking so long, I am considering just making it a short sleeve.  I cast on fewer stitches under the armpits than the pattern called for.  Makes it wonky at first glance, but once I put it on it seems alright.  Also, I might make it a little longer, but I will block it first and see if it grows at all.

Also, I might have signed up for another knit-along.  I never learn.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

GA Statewide Knitting and Crochet Day Saturday

Yesterday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive proclamation naming Saturday, April 14, 2012 as statewide knitting and crochet day.

Picture from the Atlanta Knitting Guild at

There is going to be a rally this Saturday, April 14th at the Georgia State Capitol.  Learn more here.  And the Facebook page is hereThe Georgia Knit and Crochet Day Rally will be from 11 am — 2 pm.

Bring your needles. Let's confuse some muggles.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

10 Things I Did Over Spring Break

I went to Nicaragua for Spring Break.  It was the most amazing vacation I have ever taken.

1.  I did things with transportation I didn't know were possible. I am seriously considering starting a TV show called Ridiculous Feats of Transportation Starting Nicaragua.

There was a bus that was full with people standing in the isles and hanging out the doors before the driver let on a group of 20 school kids. I particularly like all the decorations on what used to be Canadian school buses.
I rode in a banana truck.  I think they took pity on me when they saw me walking up the road with my big pack.  When they finished delivering all their bananas, they let me climb up.  I count this among my list of "things I would think twice before doing in the US but seem normal here."  I also saw people riding horses while herding cows down a highway, motorcycles careening down unpaved roads, ferries named after Cuban revolutionaries carrying dump trucks, ambulances and fancy Escalades, taxis playing Frogger with bicycles carrying three small children, and grannies walking with buckets of tomatoes balances on their heads.

2.  I learned to surf.
My teacher (the shirtless man in the pic) was ruthless.  He would be like, "some people complain because they don't like to work very hard.  You will work very hard and not complain."  And when I would fall off and swallow a gallon of salt water, he would look at me and say,  "Now get on the board."  I was thinking about hiring him as my personal trainer.  I totally got up on the board though.  Rode a wave all the way in without falling off.  BAMF!

3.  I went scuba diving.  Sort of.
I went out on the boat, got to where we were going to dive, got all my gear on, jumped into the water, tried to dive under, and had a panic attack.  Something about the water being too cold, the waves too rough, my guide not speaking English and me not having enough weight on to submerge freaked me out.

So I got back on the boat with our captain, Sancho Panza, and took a nap.  Sancho was fishing off the back of the boat and a pelican tried to steal his lure.  Harrowing moment of man vs. animal.

4.  I ate delicious food.
There were soooo many types of fruit juices.  This is a looks even crazier in person.

This was a little market in San Juan del Sur.  I ate gallo pinto, like, every day.  Also good was the fish and what they called brochetas, which were like shish kabobs.

5.  I slept in a tree house.
In a bed, but the hammock was nice, too.  There were a whole bunch of crazy hippies staying with us.  Many of them had jobs like "building an industrial park in China" or "harvesting shale oil in upper Canada."  They earned lots of money at their crazy jobs, came down to Nicaragua and basically drank a lot and laid on the beach for months at a time.  Strange life.

6.  I hung out on the beach.
I only got a little sunburned but my hands are still peeling.

7.  I traveled around an island made of volcanoes.
We went kayaking up the river between the two volcanoes that make up Ometepe Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.  It felt more like a lagoon because of the plants growing over the whole river.  Saw many birds and even a little alligator-like creature.

8.  I rode in a horse-drawn carriage.
My last night, I stayed in Granada, a bit fancier town near Managua.  Went salsa dancing, acquired a souvenir wallet made out of a toad (disgusting...), stayed in an old Spanish colonial hotel with a pool, and was able to shower for the first time in days after sleeping in a tree house.

9.  I watched the sun set.
On the Island.

Over Lake Nicaragua

10.  I swung through the canopy on a zip line.

Again, BAMF!  There were howler monkeys.  I was reading "The Hunger Games" at the time and went ballistic when I heard the monkeys.  I was CONVINCED that they were muttations sent by the capital to keep me from winning the Games.  So I put on my awesome costume Cinna made me, waited until lightening hour had passed and then ziplined across the cavern to get away from the Careers.  Or something like that.

But now it's back to law school.  Boooooo!  But only ONE MORE MONTH TO GO!!?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Weekend Update: Color Run

Saturday morning, I got up with thousands of other Atlantans and ran a 5K Color Run.  This is what I looked like at the beginning of the day.

I ran with a group of students from Rollins School of Public Health.  Thanks to Laura for taking these lovely pictures that I have shamelessly stolen from your facebook page.
That's me yawning on the right there.  I am obviously way into this whole running on a Saturday morning thing.

At each kilometer mark, people along the edge of the course threw colored powder at you.
This is obviously the purple station.  There was yellow, then green, then pink, then purple.

The volunteers had buckets of the stuff.  The powder was floating down the street, coloring the cement and passing cars.

At the end, all the runners had packets of colored powder to throw up in the air.

This is what I looked like at the end of the day.
I've been washing colored powder out of my ears for three days now.  And I had to paint my nails to hide the fact that my fingers are stained pink.  My clothes seem to have washed out ok.

It would be cool to have a Color Run colorway in a nice fingering weight yarn.  I would totally knit a stole or socks that looked like this.