Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve: woo hoo

DH and I have been in training: last night we stayed up til 11, and I had an 'exotic' drink at lunch and half a beer at dinner.

We are ready to party.

Our plans for today include looking at office furniture, knitting (me), pottery (DH), and then a marathon viewing of Sports Night on DVD while working on an impossible jigsaw puzzle we got for Christmas (an MC Esher one, if you can imagine).

I'm on the second tier of rectangles on the entrelac bag, and continuing to enjoy working on it. More pics tomorrow. I've also been working on the rosey sweater so that doesn't get neglected. I also decided to (hopefully) by some alpaca/cashmere at elann.com on Tuesday, and make a beautiful scarf for our friend Patti, who fostered both cats for us.

I can only hope your NY Eve is a bit more exciting than ours.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Visual Evidence!


IMG_2619
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I began the felted entrelac bag from the Knitter's book on bags...entrelac is fun, fun, fun! I'm starting on the first round of rectangles.

IMG_2620
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is a close up of the bag.

frodojacket
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is the jacket I did for Steve and Jen's baby-in-progress, who we call Frodo. It is made out of Lion Brand Boucle and while I think it might be more of a boy's jacket than a girl's, I think it will work regardless of gender. This was fun to make: all in one piece, a couple of seams, a cute hood. It took maybe two or three hours.

IMG_2618
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here are the matching booties for little Frodo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

End of Year Musings

I know, I still have a couple of days left before the turning of the year, but just want to blather on a bit about the year that past.

It was a good year...I learned to knit and learned I love to knit, and that has made my life much fuller. I don't think I find knitting quite the zen-like relaxer that others do, but it does something for me..maybe next year I'll be able to explore this a bit more. It has also been good for the relationship wtih my husband....hard to say exactly how without going into long discussions on challenges of relationships but I think he likes seeing me stick to something and be committed to getting better at it. And for taking risks and experimenting. And for overcoming frustrations (I could never be a potter, like him....I just don't GET IT).

For next year, I want to learn to spin and to get better at the details of knitting....not just knit something to complete it and move on but to knit something so that the process becomes meaningful. I'm also not sure exactly what I mean by this, but I want to challenge myself more and not just be able to say "hey, I made 10 scarves for Christmas presents so I am ALL THAT."

The lace scarves and the spinning should hopefully help to accomplish that.

I want to connect with more people in the knitting community and get involved that way...and maybe find some type of charity project that could also involve knitting.

So that should be enough for a while!

I started the entrelac felted bag last night and am ready to start going on the actual entrelac parts. Should be an adventure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Frodo's done!

Happy Things:
I finished the little baby jacket for Frodo, and did little booties for him/her too. I love to knit baby things.

I signed up for the spinning class yesterday at the LYS, and it starts in February. I'm very excited, and I'm going to try to spin today.

At the LYS, the owner complimented me on the Rabbit tracks scarf, and a customer told me my felted bag was 'great'.

Frustrating things:
I'm in the mood to start the Afghan, but just realized that Discount Yarn Store says the yarn may not arrive for 3-4 weeks. Argh! I shouldn't get that frustrated, since the cost is so low. At the LYS yesterday, they had Plymouth Encore but not in the proper color. So I'll have to start something else.

Once I realized by Discount yarn Store timing error, I thought I'd start on one of the lace shawls that I want to make. Then I discovered that neither LYS in Eugene stocks lace weight yarn!! One solution suggeseted was doucier et soie (sp?) for something like $25 for 250 yards (compared to Jaggerspun Zephyr, which is like $10 for 1200 yards). Now, doucier et soie is a beautiful yarn, but not for the first time you do a complex lace shawl project.

So I ordered so jaggerspun from two different places online. So no shawl project to start for me.

BUT...today the plans are to try my spindle and to start the entrelac felted tote from the Knitters 'Bags' book.


Sunday, December 26, 2004

Creatures: Stop Your Stirring!

Happy Day After Christmas. It was a great day for our little family, and I hope you had a terrific holiday too.

It was just DH and I...usually we end up at friends' for one or other of the days, but this year all amigos were out of town. It was great to spend it alone..with the dogs, cats, bird and rabbit, plus two other creatures whose sad story is still to come.

The biggest surprise was that DH's gift to me was....a bed!! I was shocked. He has been storing it in the guest room, which is also where I keep my stash, and so I've been separated from my stash for two weeks. After we finished opening most gifts, he told me to come into the guest room, and there was a beautiful cherry mission-style headboard and footboard, along with cherry rails. Beautiful, and such a surprise. We spent much of the morning setting it up, then DH installed reading lights for us (another gift, belonging to the 'oh thanks honey that's nice' category until I got the bed.

Also in the gift pile were a pair of UGG boots that I've been coveting, a drop spindle and a big ball of roving, and a gift certificate to a spinning class at one of the LYSs. I had a great DH.

Tim loved his presents (a great pot and steamer inserts for brewing beer, a stovetop smoker, books, cds, calendars, and a nice Pendleton shirt). He loved the alpaca scarf...indeed, everyone who got a scarf seemed to like it. My Aunt termed hers (black mohair with shiny novelty flags) 'stunning', and my mom liked her oatmeal basketweave because it was warm and apparently my brother keeps the heat low at his house (but truth be told, my mom's thermostat is set at 80 in the winter and 60 in the summer).

Only a couple dampers on a great holiday. On Christmas eve we took Shasta and Jessie to the vet's...Shasta to get some bloodwork done and Jessie to get a microchip. Shasta has never liked going to the vet, and was pretty traumatized after this visit...that coupled with receiving gifts on Christmas made her retreat to her puppy sofa and view the fun from a distance.

And, the evening before Christmas eve Stella the cat discovered a mouse in the kitchen. Now, I love animals, but I am scared silly of mice in the house. Tim was worried the cats would eat the mice (um, honey, isn't that their job?) and so we set some traps and tracked their point of entry to the heating ducts. (just so you know, we asked our vet, the Awesome Marnee, if it was OK if cats ate mice. She is very much into the 'slow food' movement and having animals eat more naturally, and she said the healthiest cats are those who ate mice. Hmmm.) Christmas eve I was in the garage and there is a mousie hanging out under the sink. Tim put a trap out there and caught Lady Mousie Christmas Eve and Lord Mousie Christmas day. Haven't had any evidence of additional mousies since so hopefully they've all moved on to greener, warmer, cat free pastures.

I really hate mice.

So such is life. I ordered yarn for the Afghan (I bought it from Discount Yarn Sale) and ordered some JaggerSpun for a shawl from Knitting Zone (and another shawl pattern, the Pacific Northwest Shawl, which i think I'll start with for me).

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve!!!!

I love Christmas Eve...all that rich holiday anticipation.

When I was little, we opened all our gifts on Christmas Eve. I think my family wanted to sleep late Christmas morn.

To you and yours, Merry Christmas and happiest of holidays.

I finished the rabbit tracks scarf, and started on a baby jacket for Steve and Jen's baby, known to us as Frodo. Thus, the jacket is now known as the Frodo jacket. I love baby things...they knit up soooo fast.

Allelujah!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Rabbit Tracks Vexation

I'm using stitch markers.
I'm using a row counter.
I'm being constantly vexed by the Rabbit Tracks scarf.

OK, so I'm not an exceptional lace knitter (although I would like to be, honestly). Just when I think I'm in a lace knitting groove (there are only four rows to this pattern, and two of them are straight purling) I've gotten all cafloozaly and ended up knitting row 2 when I was supposed to be knitting row 4. And since row 2 is the ya row, I've ended up with a bit of a mess a couple of times.

I've frogged...and started again, and it doesn't EXACTLY matcy, but it's OK.

But I worry about my enthusiasm over lace knitting. Maybe I have lace ADD.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

100 Things, Part 3

61. I adore dark chocolate (did I say that already?) My absolute favorite is Ritter Sport, which I think is a German brand.
62. I don’t like to fly.
63. I don’t like to travel, period. I like to stay home.
64. I may be borderline agoraphobic.
65. I read a lot. I love the Harry Potter books, and I’m currently reading “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” which is quite wonderful.
66. I am incredibly sloppy.
67. However, I am also very organized. How does that work?
68. I am not close with my mother.
69. I am not very close with my brother, but we get along.
70. I don’t have children. I thought I would for much of my life, but it just didn’t work out. I’m at peace with that.
71. I have five nieces and nephews. I am close with three of them.
72. My sister in law is the best knitter I know. She is also a very nice person.
73. I love all types of music.
74. My favorite artist of all time is Richard Thompson.
75. I used to love Duran Duran, which makes me feel like the person in the song “1985” by Bowling for Soup.
76. I am a positivist, I believe ‘the truth is out there’.
77. I have never been seriously ill (knock wood).
78. I dislocated my shoulder cross country skiing when I was 33. It still occasionally pops out, often at inopportune times.
79. I wear contacts.
80. I wear reading glasses.
81. I got my first professional highlights (in my hair) this year. Before that, I would occasionally color my hair myself.
82. I was born brunette, but have been both a blonde and a redhead in my life.
83. One time, when I was blonde, I was referred to as ‘the blonde’ and that has always bothered me.
84. I do not suffer fools gladly.
85. I am impatient.
86. I donate money to lots of different charities: mostly those having to do with animals and the environment.
87. I am registered as an independent, but I’m really a democrat.
88. I try to give blood on a regular basis.
89. I hate going to the doctor.
90. I love going to the dentist.
91. We own a tiny piece of land on the Oregon coast, and hope to build a house there someday.
92. In pursuit of number 91, we play Powerball.
93. My best friend, Elizabeth, lives in Boston, and I miss her a lot.
94. I used to use Pcs, but now I have a Powerbook and I absolutely love it.
95. We went to Germany on our honeymoon.
96. I would love to own an alpaca ranch.
97. I don’t mind doing laundry, but I have a hard time getting around to putting clean laundry away.
98. I have a cottage garden, which means it is full of plants I don’t have to worry about.
99. I love lavender, and since lavender is one of the few plants that tolerates a dry Oregon summer, have lots of lavender in our yard.
100. I’m done.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Solstice!

"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere"-Dar Williams

Monday, December 20, 2004

Ho-Ho-Holidays!

While I was immersed in "Jonathan Strange" this weekend (see below), DH kicked into Santa mode and did a ton of Christmas prep to get us in the ho ho mood. He did 'his' cards. He finished shopping. He wrapped. He bought and strung outside lights. He baked. I helped a bit: we did cards together, I baked, I watched him put up the lights, but he really stepped up to the Christmas plate.

I finished "JS", truly didn't want it to end.

AND...I measured the Rabbit Tracks scarf and it is more than 3 1/2 feet long. I was pretty amazed at my progress, considering I don't recall knitting on it AT ALL.

Ah, the magic of Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

"Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell"

I am so ENCHANTED by this book I can't put it down, and this has cut considerably into my knitting. I am pleased to report, though, that I am almost halfway done with the Rabbit Tracks scarf, and have not progressed at all on the rosey sweater.

BUT...I did order some patterns in preparation for my next knitting adventures. I bought the patterns for the Creatures of the Reef Shawl, the Spirits of the Southwest shawl, and the Great American Aran Afghan book.

I'm thinking I'd like to try different knitting patterns on squares, and that would satisfy my urge to experiment while limiting the actual commitment to a big Aran project.

I also decided to buy myself a Charlottes Web kit with any Christmas $ that comes my way.

6 Days til Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2004

100 things part 2

30. I like snow.
31. I don’t like being wet and cold.
32. I do not have my adnoids.
33. I do not have my tonsils.
34. I have everything else.
35. I have always hated my hair.
36. I have ntermittant insomnia.
37. I would often rather spend time with animals than with people.
38. Except reptiles.
39. I love cashmere.
40. I love chenille.
41. I love Born shoes.
42. I love dark pearls.
43. I love dark chocolate.
44. I have had two episodes of clairvoyance.
45. I have had one out of body experience.
46. I really,really want a mini cooper.
47. I play the banjo badly.
48. Given unlimited choices, I’d pick Indian.
49. I would prefer not to dance in public.
50. I love giving presents.
51. Getting presents makes me nervous.
52. I was once a professional gift wrapper.
53. It didn’t stick.
54. My favorite color is blue.
55. My favorite movies are “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Player” by Robert Altman.
56. I am oddly fascinated by certain Reality TV shows.
57. I cannot sing.
58. I used to speak Spanish fluently.
59. I wrote a book (a textbook) about advertising and society. It is ranked something like 600,000 at Amazon.
60. I never thought I would be a Cat person.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

That Rosey Feeling

I finished the back of the rosey sweater (see below) and unless I am crazy it is waaaay too small. Hopefullly blocking will get it to fit me. We'll see. I think it'll stretch (famous last knitting words).

Four 'old' Rowan mags also arrived today, so it is just like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

100 Things about Me, Part 1

1. As I start this list, I don’t think I’ll make it to 100 things.
2. I’m a college professor.
3. I used to work in advertising.
4. Now I teach advertising.
5. I don’t believe in the adage that ‘those who can’t, teach”.
6. Except perhaps when it comes to gym.
7. My parents divorced when I was 3.
8. I never saw my dad after I was 5.
9. I’ve recently dealt with the repercussions of this.
10. My favorite city is London.
11. My favorite city that I lived in is Boston.
12. I was a theater jock in high school.
13. I started college as a theater major.
14. I changed my major four times.
15. My undergrad degree was in film history and criticism. It’s like being an English major without having to read books.
16. I have an MBA.
17. I have a PhD.
18. No one calls me Doctor.
19. I met my husband online.
20. I married him when I was 37.
21. We’ve been married almost ten years.
22. When I turned 35, I made peace with the fact that I’d never get married.
23. I love animals.
24. Except repties.
25. When I was 30, I lost 50 pounds.
26. I have since gained about 15 of them back. Not bad.
27. I’ve been knitting for about a year.
28. I’m a process knitter.
29. I made Christmas gifts for almost everyone I exchange gifts with this year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kitten Love

Our new kitten, Jessie, came home last night, and we are totally smitten with that kitten. She's about 8 months old and a beautiful tabby. Most charmingly, she is, well, a cat.

Let me explain. Our other kitten, Stella, was found when she was three weeks old, separated from her mother and hanging on to life by a mere kitten paw. She was saved by our Vet Marnee, weened by our wonderful friend Patti, and then came to live with us when she was about 8 weeks old. She has no idea how to be a cat, and subsequently is part puppy, part human, and a little bit cat. She is an entity to herself.

Jessie, though, does all those things cats are supposed to do...she meows. She jumps in your lap. She does that cute cheek rub marking thing. She happily uses the litter box (don't even ask about Stella and that!). The dogs are enchanted. Stella is confused.

For the first nght of two kitties in the house, it was relatively calm, with both cats sharing our bed for a small amount of time. That was nice.

On the knitting front, I felted the two ipod cozies that I knit for Tim and our friend Steve. Before I had a chance to take pics, though, Tim comes home and says "tomorrow is Steve's birthday. what should we do?" So, iPod cozy to the rescue. I don't think I'll have time to knit him anything before Christmas (and he's one of those people who is ALWAYS warm, so it wouldn't really be an appropriate gift anyway) but there's time to figure out something for him.

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Toast to Rose

My surprise from my KR gift fairy arrived today, and I can hardly think of what to say to thank the wonder Rose M, for her wonderful gifts.

(Unfortunately, the camera is in the guest room, where DH has hidden my Christmas gift and hence from where I am banned. So words will have to suffice).

My gifts included:

A beautiful skein of fleece artist slubby yarn in a rainbow of muted colors, that I want to make into a scarf right now.
A beautiful book to keep track of knitting in
Adorable cards, including a sheep one which I will never send to anyone because it is too cute
And finally, a beautiful quilted pillow of a cat, with a picture of our dear Mickey on it, filled with lavender, my favorite scent.

Rose M, whom I have never met, has to be one of the most thoughtful, kind and generous people I know.

May all your Christmas suprrises be as wonderful.

Friday, December 10, 2004

rabbit tracks


rabbit tracks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In a little fit of energy, I took some pics of the current wips. Here is the rabbit tracks scarf, made out of the garage sale Indecita Alpaca. It's a bit over a foot long right now.

rosey cables


rosey cables
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Look closely: you might be able to see the cable patternin this sweater.

I Hab a Code

If you say it out loud it makes sense.

So, between said 'code' and the end of fall term grading, I've had no time for knitting, no time for blogging, and no time for
really much of anything. The weather today is freakishly warm...high of 60 degrees today....which is just odd...plus the ground is officially saturated due to all the rain. It is a lot, even for the NW.

15 days til Christmas.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Neeed New Needles

I picked up my rabbit tracks scarf last night and, surprise surprise, one of the needles was covered with teeth marks. For projects with yarn overs and knit togethers, I like Balene II needles...I like the pointy tip. I don't know what they are made of, but it is some type of plastic (I guess) and sort of feels like you're knitting with wax sticks.

Anyway, I will blame the teeth marks on little Stella (cat), as one of the dogs would have chewed right through them.

They were my only pair of 8s, so off to the LYS to pick up another pair. I don't think there is any way to even them out, and while I can still knit with them it just doens't feel as good.

So I learned my lesson: needles go in the bag POINTS DOWN so little cats can't get into trouble.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Jessie--on the right


Jessie--on the right
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We'll be bringing the kitten on the right home in about a week. Our wonderful friend Patti, who works at a vet office, rescued this pair of sisters after another deliberate act of cruelty. THe kitten on the left is now living with Patti's daughter, and Jessie on the right will soon be Stella's little sister.

Lack of Photos

Aargh! I've reached the point of no photos on my blog. I promise to rectify that on Monday when I again will face the evil digital camera.

After a week of not feeling like knitting, I'm back in the groove. I started the Rabbit Track pattern scarf using my garage sale alpaca, and I like that a lot. The Rosey sweater is about to start being shaped for the armholes. I've finished one iPod cozy and will whip up another next week and then felt them.


Life is good.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Rabbit Rabbit~

Do you say Rabbit Rabbit on the first day of the month? If so, do you know why you do? I'm sure I could google it and find the reason, but I just don't want to right now!

Things are slowly getting back to normal after departure of Inlaws. I know some readers might think I'm horrible for not embracing them and being positive about them, but it is so hard. MIL is so passive aggressive, and there is no editing between what she thinks and what she says. Probably the best example I can give you of her is this: obviously, they came to visit us (from the midwest) to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, she cooked a TG meal before they came here for Tim's brothers in St. Louis. So as soon as she arrives, she tells me "I made a huge TG meal last week, and we've been eating turkey nonstop since then. We're really sick of turkey". So, my plans for a turkey dinner and several leftover meals were pretty much shot to hell. I went ahead and made the turkey for TG, of course, but WHO stuffs themselves with turkey before going to visit someone for TG? She KNEW we were having a turkey. Anyway, the whole week was a series of episodes like that. I'll stop now. It is over.

I did get some knitting done, the rosey sweater is moving forward, the chenille jacket (AARGH)needs some finishing. I also need to whip up two iPod cases, one for DH and one for DH's best friend Steve. I have some Lion Brand Landscapes which would look cool if indeed it felts as promised, I may play it safe with Lopi, maybe use the Landscapes for trim.

Only 24 days til Christmas!