WIPs and UFOs

Sounds vaguely kinky, doesn’t it? Hmmmm… just thought I’d post pics of these to spur (no pun intended) me on to completion (oh boy, that sounds really bad – didn’t know knitting would be so much fun, LOL). The first one here below is the front of the T-shirt in Melissa Leapman’s Hot Knits – an excellent book, by the way ! For a slender woman, she sure knows how to make her patterns for women of all sizes and those of us with , ahem, a little more than they’d like , salute her:)

The next two are my first attempt at mosaic knitting – a pattern from the Winter ’05 edition of Knitter’s magazine – I just love their patterns, and again, they do make them for women of all sizes, not just model types, thank goodness! Also – a close-up of the pattern. So cool – obviously I use colors that I think will work with my weird coloring:)

Finally – here’s my first attempt at knitting a bag I’m hoping to felt into something decent. I’m using the Knitter’s pattern to get it started, but am going to do something a little longer possibly. We’ll see. How much can you screw up a bag (uh oh… famous last words).

Good news is, I’ve got those briefs done and only have a couple of motions and responses to type up this weekend. Plus, maybe a couple of visits if I’m lucky – and we are singing tomorrow, so this should be a nice weekend. (Never mind that I have some yarn waiting for me at my LYS. I’m going to ask them if I can do a little “mini-commercial” for them on my blog. If they give me permission, I’ll post pics of them soon.
Well, as the divine Ms. Howell says, “Knit on!”

Poor Gavver

Well, John has been hurting now all weekend! He went to the ER Friday afternoon when he realized he was in too much pain to walk on his right leg! They tested him for blood clots and took some blood and so far, the real serious stuff has been ruled out. Of course, the only painkillers he has are the OTC stuff. I have something, but it's not appropriate for what he needs. Poor guy can't work, can't sleep, can't get comfortable, so he's alternated his time between sitting downstairs and watching “chick flicks” and trying to sleep in his bed. Neither is working, so I think it's off to see the doc Monday AM if they can squeeze him in.
Have gotten virtually nothing done – and it's two of our kids' birthdays! Aarrggghhh….
We ended up just giving them money – how thoughtful, right?
Hopefully we'll have a good answer to the question of his pain by tomorrow! Otherwise, he's going to have to look at disability! His jobs all have him on his feet.
Ah life…..

OK, I keep forgetting to do this

and then the gifts/sweaters I make are upstairs folded up or out on the person I gave ’em to – and no pics. so…. Here’s a work in progress – a sweater for my little grandbaby, Ruby. I’m hoping it’ll be big enough to fit her in Sept/Oct, because weather’s getting warm here in MD!

I’m making the pullover from the Knit Picks website (www.knitpicks.com)
and combining the yarn with Dale Baby Ull in white. The striping is still happening and the sweater will be a little bigger and bulkier.

I kind of like the results so far. Both yarns are machine washable – far more sensible for a baby. Her mommy seems to like how it’s coming along, which is important:)

OK, if my husband sees this, I’m in deep doo doo…..

My entire cotton yarn stash.. And then divided up for projects. My goal is to make a bunch of lightweight summer tops to wear with suit jackets during the summer (when we can be just a tad more colorful:))
I will get started on that when I finish Ruber Duber’s sweater, LOL. Cannot wait.
Still have to get to Janet Szabo’s FLAK sweater. What a terrific knitalong that is!
You can find it at http://www.bigskyknitting.com/FLAK/knitalong.html Her recent book, Aran Sweater Design is an excellent resource for those of us who want to do this right. Cannot wait to get into that, too. Already have two yarns for two aran sweaters. I’ll have plenty to do this summer:)

Well, today is Holy Saturday. We have the Easter Vigil service tonight (my favorite – and most meaningful) service in the Church year. I love singing in the choir. My voice is just beginning to come back, so I still sound like Alfalfa’s grandma, but then I am no soloist, thank the Lord!
My prayers are with all who read this.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

Why I love what I do

OK, two days in a row! I AM being bad! And I have court tomorrow and two pleadings that need to be prepared and God knows what else – oh yeah – have to prep for EFM class tonight….
But I had to write about this.
Sometimes what I do for a living is tough. I have to hear and experience second hand the trauma and pain that others go through. I know, it’s not the same as experiencing it yourself, thank God! – but sometimes I wonder if I do any good at all – any real and lasting good. So, I am writing this down for posterity and maybe adding to it, God willing, so I can keep on keeping on!
First, let me tell you the story about little Kevin. Kevin’s mother was my client at a non-profit I used to work for, representing victims of domestic violence. Kevin’s father was nuts, probably had dissociative identity disorder, commonly referred to as multiple personality disorder. Kevin’s mother, my client, and I came to the realization that Kevin’s father had probably shaken him during a three-week hospital stay for my client. Kevin went from walking, talking and climbing to just sitting and no longer talking. Kevin’s mother got him help through the local Infants and Toddlers program. He eventually recuperated, something that is almost unheard of in shaken baby cases. But what to do about visitation and custody? Turns out this guy was more interested in his stuff than his kid, so when I hit him with some discovery about his assets, he was suddenly willing to sign an agreement waiving visitation with his son. Later, the feds charged him on another related matter, and he was also ordered to have no contact for five years with my client or Kevin.
Fast forward two years later. I happened to be at the courthouse on a divorce case for another client and there walked in Kevin and his mother! He looked healthy and happy and he was talking up a storm – seemed to be a normal 5-yr-old boy! I said hello to my former client. She and Kevin were doing well (except for what brought them to court – unrelated to our case). As we bid our leave, I said to Kevin, “Good-bye, sweetie.” As they walked away, I heard him say, in this sweet, delighted voice, “Mommy, she called me ‘sweetie!'”
So often when we lawyers do our work, we have this fairly long term, intense relationship with a client, which gets more and more intense as trial approaches. A brief period of closing the file and getting documents and info back to the client, then nothing. Often we never hear from them again. So when I get a glimpse into their lives after my involvement, sometimes it’s an education. When their lives are better, even when my part in that was small (as in this case) it’s a feeling I cannot describe.

Last week I got a call from another domestic violence client. When I represented her, she was stuck in this bizarre relationship with a guy who was on the sex offender registry (probably for his involvement with her at a too-young age!) She was back and forth, trying to get away, he and his family using their children to tie her to him. He actually found out where she was sheltered and attempted to reach her there, so we got her shelter at another DV agency in another county. There was a criminal trial for his latest garbage, but she was nowhere to be found to testify. I was seriously worried they had done away with her!
But no. Last week she called me. She’s left him. She’s a real estate agent. She’s working on her MBA!!!!! YES! And she’s spent the last few months looking for me because she needs a lawyer to fight him and his bull sh*t in court again. But she’s fighting, God love her! I can’t do work outside of my contract with the state, so I referred her to one of the best domestic attorneys I know who works in her jurisdiction. YES!

Another client of mine was brought into care before I began representing her. She was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriends. Mom was a waste of oxygen. Sorry to say that, truly. My client went from foster care to cutting to suicide attempts. She spent two years at a residential treatment center, then to a wonderful therapeutic group home in western MD, and now is in a foster home with the most wonderful people you could imagine! She still occasionally cuts, but she is doing so well. She has found the love of a family. As I type this, tears sting my eyes. To those of us who have families who love us and put up with us when no one else will, this is not a big deal, but to so many of my clients, this is HUGE!!! Now, I had nothing to do with all of this, except that I listened to her as her counsel and she knows I have her back. DSS actually did a wonderful job for her. So often, it’s the social workers who are the unsung heroes and believe me, theirs is often a thankless task! They not only get it from the parents and their attorneys, but from the courts, who are forever inquiring into whether their efforts are/were “reasonable” – a function of federal law and funding.

About 11 months ago on Mother’s Day, I got a call from one of my clients who was then 18 and had been on runaway for a while. DSS got her too late. She had been sexually and physically abused by her father and her mother was an absent drunk in more ways than one. She told me she had gotten married and was happy. She said I was the only person she felt comfortably calling on Mother’s day! That broke my heart. I told her to feel free to call any time. I still pray for her every time I think of her.

Sometimes this job humbles the heck out of me.

I have no earthly business doing this!

But, it HAS been a long time! Had court this morning – two hearings – one shelter that was granted (no choice really) and the other a specially set adjudication that was postponed for one more week (keeping the kids sheltered and giving mom some more time to get her act together). On the way back I figured I’d drop off the sleeveless sweater/shell/vest I knit for Nancy’s birthday if she wasn’t too busy getting ready for the intense Holy Week schedule. Nancy is our music director and conducts an adult choir (to which I belong), an adult handbell choir, and a youth handbell choir. She also oversees the music for a fairly large church community. Needless to say, I figured this must be a very hectic time for her. So, I thought, I’d just drop off the silly little gift, wish her a belated birthday at the church door (also her office door) and just be on my way. Instead I was treated to a really nice and interesting conversation on a lovely afternoon – and in the middle of the work week! Who knew! God does give us these surprise gifts. And I think I got the better gift this afternoon. I thank God for this wonderful person. Now that sounds a little dramatic, I agree, but if you spent all week with lawyers, clients (who are terrific, of course) judges, and crazy/abusive/drug-addicted/hurting/sad/struggling/poverty-stricken parents of clients, you would know what a delight it is to count among your friends a woman who is NOT a lawyer, who makes her living producing beautiful music, who is there for her friends and tireless in caring for others, including her dear husband, you would understand whereof I speak. And then, to top it all off, she is brilliant and has faith. Why am I so lucky? I certainly don’t deserve this bounty:) especially since I was so awful to John last night. He certainly deserves better than me.

One of these years I will remember to take a picture of what I make. The sweater actually turned out fairly well – it looks like it will fit her. Now THAT’s a minor miracle! Although I have to say lately that I’m getting better with gauge and all that, so the knitting big thing seems to be at least accounted for in my designing and planning a garment. This is one I put together myself. I say “put together” because I used a general pattern from a book, and then decided on the center cable and no sleeves. So, I sorta kinda designed it (sorta kinda) but you know how that is. Cannot take the full credit in other words.
Since I cannot take a picture (she has it) I will say it was a sky blue cotton/rayon blend with a Saxon Braid cable down the middle of the front, neck and waistline ribbing in seed stitch, armhole ribbing in regular 1×1 and stockinette stitch everywhere else. I kept it simple, which seems to have been a good plan.

OK, back to work. Good news is, I have to hit the road and do visits – a nice thing about my job in this weather.