Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Penny for Your Thoughts!

kr pal reveal
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
As in Penny, my KR secret pal.

She finally revealed herself in this terrific Christmas package which included a hand knit stocking, a Christmas cracker, candycandycandy, a Knit 1 magazine that I don't have and has a pattern for the sweater I want to make for Tim in it, and some mysterious plastic thingees that are bobbins for knitting intarsia.


And Fleece Artist.

Yes. My alcohol, my crack, my opium, my chocolate (OK not my chocolate)....Fleece Artist. In these incredibly spring candy colors. It is the favorite soft mitten/sock kit (and I'm making the socks) in a 'multi mix' colorway. It is awesome. My toes are wiggling in delight.

Thanks Penny. You were a great secret pal!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And in other news....

What do you do when you're supposed to go snowshoeing but you wake up with a nasty sinus infection that prevents reading and knitting? Well, you make a wreath. Not an original idea...the fiber store in Oak Ridge, TN had one hanging on their wall...but I've been wanting to do something with all the bibs and bobs of yarn I've had lying around. It's fun to see stuff I've knit 'enshrined' in the wreath. I topped it off with a pair of cheap lion brand knitting needles that look great. So. Up on the door it goes as soon as the greenery wreath comes down.

So that's what is up with me. Gave up on Wedding in Winter, it was not compelling at all. May have to start on Dragonfly in Amber this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday Reading

I'm catching up on reading over the break. As I mentioned, I "re"-read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Much of it was very new to me (due to reading it the first time under the influence of Percoset)..SPOILER ALERT! If you are the only person left in the US who is planning to read HP and the HBP then just stop now, please. OK.

I didn't remember who the HBP was, or that Harry hooked up with Ginny, or that the Horcrux that HP and Dumbledore found was a phony. Anyway. It was a good book, although I still think #4 is my favorite.

Then. I read "Outlander". Many of the knitters at KR rave about this book, ney the entire series, so I went ahead and read the first one. At first, I wasn't that taken by the book...I zipped through the book pretty fast, especially the last 300 pages or so (yes, the last 300 pages, the book is like 900 pages long) because in all honestly I was getting a bit weary of the "Claire about to get raped...Jamie saves her" "Jamie about to die, someone usually Claire but occasionally someone else saves him" plot devices and the "I dinna ken ye as a witch, sassenach" dialogue that was on every page. But now that it is finished, I just can't shake the characters. I want to know what happened next...did Claire go back to the 1940's? Did she stay there and go to Rome with Jamie? Rarely do characters get under my skin like that. So. I have the next 800+ page book, Dragonfly in Amber, waiting for me.

I read "The Lost Painting" by Jonathan Harr, which is the story of scholars who found a lost Carravagio (sp?) masterpiece in the 1990s. Harr expanded an article he wrote (for the New Yorker?) to book length, but it really would be better suited for a long article. It was an interesting story but not enough to pad it out for an entire book. Anyway. I learned a lot about Carravagio (sp?) and it was a nice break after reading Scot dialect in "Outlander".

Now, I started "Wedding in Winter" by Anita Shreve. She's a good writer, that Anita Shreve. She knows how to craft a good story. It's a short one too, so I'll probably be finished with it in a day or so.

So that's what's up with me and my reading. And you?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Gifs, Surprises, and More

the backgammon board
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We had two lovely days of celebration and peaceful times....lots of phone calls to relatives, lots and lots of good food, lots of fun times with friends and with our little family, and lots of surprises under the tree.

Here's the surprise gift I made for Tim last summer and gave him for Christmas...a backgammon board. There is a pattern in "Knitter's Stash" and I knit it in a larger guage and felted it down. It looks great, if I do say so myself. Those little glass pebbles for vases will serve as the pieces, and I also bought two navy blue die (no doubling cube, does anyone use that?).

evan et al
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Steve, Jen and Evan came over Christmas Eve for our 'traditional' tenderloin dinner, although my guess is that we could have just had artichoke dip and called it a day. Afterwards we exchanged gifts (we got a terrific picture of Evan with a frame he made himself!) (ooh, and chocolate pretzels yum). Evan was mystified by his first gift, although Shasta clearly doesn't really care as long as it is food.

finished fishies
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And what to his wandering eyes did appear? A fishy afghan! Evan seemed somewhat impressed with it, as he immediately put it in his mouth. I think it turned out great...instead of sewing the fishes together I used a three stitch i-cord which sort of sets the fish off from eachother. Then there's an icord edging all the way around. Hopefully it will be baby proof!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And under our tree Christmas morning? Three books from my mom and a book from Tim. Tim gave me 'Beyond Wool" as he knows I want to learn more about the different fibers out there...and this looks like a good book. From my mom (at my request)...Oddball Knitting, Vogue Felting, and Knitting Vintage Socks. This last book, by Nancy Bush, is absolutely fascinating! I can hardly wait to get into some different sock patterns.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And finally, it just wouldn't be Christmas without yarn, now, would it? My mom sent me Baby Alpaca Grande, enough for a gorgeous hat that I'm designing in my head. Three balls of Baby Alpaca Branch, which might become a branching out. And a 54-yard hank of Llama from a farm in Arizona. Very cool. Not sure what I'll make with it but definitely something good.

So, a lovely Christmas. Tim has the week off (we yell 'yay' whenever we hear NPR announce that the stock market is closed) and we're having another relaxing day today. I hope peace is with you this season!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

doncha hate this?

When you (I) cast on 226 stitches for an in-the-round square for the Aran Afghan and after 5 rows (ie 1000+ stitches) you (I) realize there is a twist in the round?

I do.

Yeah, so I frogged the 1000+ stitches. And I"m doing the fish square instead. Fie on you, round square!

I've been reading "Outlander" is sort of time travel-y but not really (where did this interest in time travel come from?).
I finished "Harry P and the Half Blood Prince" and yes indeed, there were several parts that were totally and completely new for me.

The kitchen is clean. Three out of four types of cookies are baked. Presents are wrapped. Christmas can come.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"We Find Magic Everywhere"

Tim's hat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Happy Solstice! I've felt solstice coming on this whole week as the days have started to get dark sooo early, almost around 2:30 or so...but now the days will start to be brighter, and that makes me happy.

I haven't posted any knitting pics for a while so I'll catch up now. First up, Tim's alpaca hat, that I knit while curled up on the sofa with food poisoning. It looks like it needs a weeee bit more blocking on that right side, eh? But. He likes it. The stripes look cool. It should be toasty warm. The wool was that alpaca wool that's the house alpaca at Elann . Very slickery, the alpaca. But it's for my honey so it's worth it.

I've tried to do some spinning with alpaca and woah, it's hard. But I'll persevere.

square 12
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It is taking a bit of time to finish this afghan square, I think I have about ten rows of the pattern then 6 edging rows to go to finish this. Lots of cables on this puppy. I like makes for pretty concentrated knitting but that's OK. I hope to finish two more squares during the holiday, but we'll see.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The Flickr police are going to come and arrest me today for taking a picture of this sock on our burgundy sofa. Whatever. This is the Koigu yarn I received in the KR Sock Round Robin from lovely Lella that I'm creating into my own designed sock. I've never knit with Koigu before, and it is a bit different than other sock yarn and oddly empowering (it has so much strength!). Anyway, instead of a 2x2 rib, I'm doing a 1/1 LC for the knit part of the rib. Trust me, it looks cool.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Eggnog Free Zone

We went to an open house last night and I had two glasses of egg nog. By the time we got home, I was doubled over in pain, and have basically spent today holed up on the sofa. I used to love egg nog. Now even typing the words makes me woozy.

But in good news, I have Tim's alpaca hat nearly completed. Pics tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


This happens to me every few months or so: indecision on what to start next, knitting wise.

I finished the Ruby Red Socks for Tim. They were a bit snug so I tried to block them longer. We'll see.
I spent much of yesterday weaving in ends on Evan's Christmas gift, and it looks good. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with the Afghan Square.

So, the indecision is: what next?

I cast on some alpaca for a hat for Tim (his request), but the vast quantities of stockinette has me yearning for something more comlex. I have some koigu from the Sock Round robin for some socks for me. I also want to start on a cabled purse with dowel handles, but can't decide whether it should be a winter or summer purse. I am in the mood for little things, but little challenging things. Thus is the problem.

Maybe the creel pattern bag from Folk Bags? I started it once but didn't quite get the pattern going. I have the wool for it. I have some deep grey cashmere that I thought I'd knit a pair of gloves, but I don't think I have enough double points (but could, of course, venture out and purchase some). Just....can't.....decide.

I tried a little wire knitting yesterday, and it looks like a disaster. I'd like to wire knit bracelets for Christmas next year...and it has become evident to me why wire knitting always includes beads...because it looks like garbage without a little bling.

So, what do you do when indecision strikes?

In other news....

It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...our tree is up, the animals are all decked in their holiday bows, and there's a little bit of an ice storm happening outside right now (hey, next best thing to snow, especially on a Sunday). We have a holiday open house to go to this afternoon. I will probably try to wrap a few gifts for Tim today, but nothing goes under the tree when you have two nosy dogs and two crazy cats living with you. The Christmas mix is ready on itunes. Bring on Christmas!

I'm re-reading the 6th Harry Potter....the first time I read it was after we returned from CR and before I had my clavicle surgery, so I read it whilst taking very strong drugs. Needless to say, reading it now is like reading it for the first time. Lucky me! I haven't read much else decent in the past month (Jane Fonda's autobiography comes to mind) but I have a stack of paperbacks (Outlander, And What About the Dog, Middlemarch) to get through over Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wheely Good Fun

I love the new wheel! I've been spinning on it for the past several days and so enjoying it. Here is what I like about it!
1. No wobbles. The Kiwi, being a 'beginner' wheel, was not too balanced, and if I got a bit of speed up it would start wobbling. Once I put the fast flyer on, it wobbled pretty much non stop. No wobbling with the Matchless (that I think is named Maya, did I say that once?)
2. No muscling the bobbin out of the maidenl. Maya has a knob you turn and it loosens up the maiden (I think that is what it is called). Not so the Kiwi.
3. Double drive. Love it. I love Scotch tension too, but the double drive seems to work well for me.
4. The tensioned lazy kate. No more bobbin flopping when I'm plying.
5. The wood . It is so beautiful to touch. It is really a work of art.
6. Yarn. Good yarn. Happy spinster.

I finished the majority of Tim's socks and now I just have the heels to do, which I will probably start today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm a Sucker for a Quiz

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Woh oh oh it's Magic

hat b4
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I love felting.

OK. I mostly love felting. I've made some great felted bags. I've done a very very clever Christmas gift for Tim that I can't post here. But I've never had success with hats.

One of the cool things about felting is that you have to give up basically all control over the finished project. So I've had a few hats just get too small to be of any use. And I did a beret that just sort of sits at an odd angle on your head. Fine. I learned.

So when I started this hat (made from leftovers from mario from my blackberry) I knit it up knowing that it probably wouldn't work, and figured if it shrunk down too much I could save it for Evan. I found a pattern with a flat top which was the look I was going for. The pattern was designed with a much thinner yarn so I finagled the pattern a bit (cut out half of the stitches and about half of the rows) and it knit up quickly.

hat done
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yesterday I threw it in the washer for about half an hour (forgot to set the timer, but it's a front loader so that's not a problem) and the pulled it out..plopped it on my head (yes, while wet) and was surprised that it fit. I blocked it over a Crisco can to get the flat top look and now that it is dry, I can't believe it turned out pretty much exactly like I wanted. Flat top, rolled brim, and covers my ears. And very heavy, and since it is wool, it should be very warm. The thick thin yarn gives it a little texture, which is interesting to see. On the whole, I must say, I love it.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Remember the Aran Afghan?

another square
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I took a break for fall term from working on the Aran Afghan...I had finished all the 'easy' squares and the remaining squares require a bit of attention. So now that I have a few weeks off I thought I'd try to get a number of squares done. Here is number 12, which is sort of a celtic cross pattern. It will look better blocked, I think.

new wheel
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My new wheel arrived Friday night and it took Tim about ten minutes to set it up. It spins amazingly. I thnk its name is Maya, which is the first name which popped into my head as it came out of the box.

My Kiwi had scotch tension, and this has both, but I've been using the double drive and am getting used to it. I plan to spin the rest of the yarn for a sweater for Tim on it first, plus I have to spin some for the KR spinning exchange.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It has been a cold December here in Oregon...we usually have relatively mild winters, but we've had frost every day this week which is unusual. Tim and I can't seem to warm up. Jessie found the best way.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Quick Stella Update

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I took Stella into the vet today...she needed a rabies shot and I wanted to chat with the vet about her seizures (she's had a few in the past weeks). We decided to try her on some anti-seizure meds (probably phenobarbitol). The biggest concern is that she'll injure (is that spelled right?) herself when she's having a seizure...biting her tail or something like that.

She had a miserable time at the vet, letting out the most miserable howl while they were giving her a shot. My poor kitty.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
She absolutely adores Cody. Here they are snuggled up together (I think Cody could take or leave her presence, but as long as he gets some room on the sofa then he'll tolerate her). At one point during this snuggle she had her front leg resting on his neck.

I know this is a little hallmark-y, and I rarely venture into such mushiness, but you have to admit it is pretty cute.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Matchless on Its Way!

My new Schacht wheel is 'in the mail'...and scheduled to arrive on the 9th. More than a whole week early.
I am very excited.

So, if you're thinking about buying a wheel...or starting spinning...and want a good deal on a used Ashford Kiwi...let me know.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I *Am* the Christmas Sock!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
See post below.

Flickr doesn't want to rotate photos today, so here's an odd view of the current progress of Tim's latest pair of socks. I finished the first one Saturday was the Nasdaq Christmas party, and Steve and Jen didn't have a I stayed home with Jen and Evan, while Tim and Steve went to the Christmas party. Jen and I yakked all night while I finished the first sock.

It is Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Ruby River or something like that.

I'm also working on an afghan square and 'thinking about' casting on for a felted hat.

We finally got around to watching the 'finale' of Prison Break last night. See, Mafia Guy is NOT dead! He'll be back.

But, can we say dissappointing? Oops, can't break out. Sorry guys. See ya in March for the execution. If you don't watch Prison Break, you're thinking right now I've lost my mind. Apologies all around.

My students have their final projects due tomorrow and then some serious grading commences. TOday I spent a good half hour shredding old papers at our office at home. It felt good. How weird is that?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Secret Knitting and Penguin Thoughts

I spent most of my knitting time yesterday finishing off a Christmas gift, and discovered a great way of joining pieces for a quilt: using 3-stitch attached icord. It looks great and should hold pieces together well. I'm very, very happy, especially since I hate seaming and am not good at it at all. Now, if only sweaters could be seamed with icord. Anyway. Pics after Christmas.

We watched "March of the Penguins" last night on was such a sweet movie with lots of 'awwww' moments. It did, however, bring back a bad Penguin memory for me. When I lived in Boston I was a docent at the New England Aquarium. As a beginner docent, I didn't get a lot of 'good' assignments and mostly spent my time telling people not to throw stuff in the Giant Ocean Tank and pointing out bathrooms.

Anyway. when you walk in the Aquarium you see that the first floor is taken up by the 'penguin tray', a giant open pool-like area for penguins that's about five feet below the floor, and the Giant Ocean Tank rises above it. Anyway. I was on Penguin Tray Duty (see spitting and bathroom info, above) and noticed that a large group of special needs youth were visiting. The group had about one chaperone for every ten or twelve kids. I was just wandering over to them to see if they wanted to learn anything about Penguins, when the next thing I of the kids has hopped over the barrier and jumped in the penguin tray.

My reaction? Yell: "someone is in the Penguin tray' and hope someone hears me who knows what to do. I then ran into the adjacent gift shop and got the workers there to call up to the scientists. At the same time, one of the chaperones then climbed over the barrier to get to the kid (the penguins had all hurried off to the far corners of the tray). A scientist then opened the gate and went in to get them.

Then I got yelled at. The basic gist of the yelling was "do you realize what this could do to the penguins?"

Um, yeah. Poor penguins. Penguins that are treasured by hordes of visitors ten hours a day, g are fed popcorn and soda and other treats, and basically have grown up surrounded by people. Penguins that get nasty with the feeders when they run out of fish. Penguins that while adorable are, yes, a bit spoiled.

Anyway. I mumbled something about how gross it would be to be covered in Penguin-lived-in-water and went back to my post. And I pretty much stopped being a docent that day. I love animals, and I know the penguins were frightened and their lives disrupted (although they immediately went back to that part of the tray once the people got out). But to yell at me about the penguins, when I really felt bad about the poor folk covered in Penguin affluvia, and to yell at me when my job was to TEACH PEOPLE about penguins, not to be the SPIT POLICE, well, that was pretty much it.

But. Anyway. It was a good movie. Go rent it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Giving and receiving

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My Holiday Elf, Emy received her Gift Elf package, and I think she likes it :-). Happy Holidays Emy! It is fun Elfing with you.

Today I received sock yarn in the KR Sock Round Robin. This beautiful Koigu is from Minh...thanks Minh! Minh sent some charming little beaded stitch markers too...I've never had any like this and I'm so afraid I'll lose them, but I'll give them a try.

Some wildfoote handpainted is off to Lella tomorrow.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here is a gift on multi-levels...the moebius cool stuff scarf. It is a gift from me to me (like most of my knitting). It is a gift to be able to create another beautiful thing from Cat Bordhi's book. And it is a gift to be done with knitting with this @#$%^ yarn!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Not Much New!

Lots o' workin' goin' on, as it is the end of term and all. Grading, getting ready for next term, going to meeting after meeting after meeting. Ah. Work. I'll have a few weeks off after next week so I can't complain (oh, heck, sure I can).

I'm about done with the Moebius from Hades. Pics soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Miscellaneous Thoughts

1. I'm making a moebius with Prism Cool Stuff (and no, I didn't pay retail...I bought it at a destash at KR). It is ridiculous to work with.The yarn changes every few yards from a lovely velvety ribbon to a scritchy scratchy sparkly non stretchy yarn. Unfortunately, it looks wonderful in a moebius. Pics soon.

2. I'm about done with "About Beauty" by Zadie Smith. I tried (but did not finish) her other books (White Teeth, The Autograph Man (?)) but I'm enjoying this one quite a bit.

3. Tim's socks are mysteriously unravelling. It is due to either poor knitting (probable), over-affectionate kittens (possible), washing machine issues (doubtful) or fairies.

4. Now that it is almost December, we're coming to the end of several reality shows that I (blush) follow and (double blush) actually really enjoy. Here are my mini-miscellaneous thoughts on this:

  • Survivor Rooting for: Rafe Will he win? Hmm. Not sure if he can 'outwit' the rest of the group.
  • The Apprentice Rooting for: Randall Will he win? Probably.
  • ANTM Rooting for: Nik. Will she win? Oh who knows. There's seems to be some type of Magic Model Formula that only Tyra Banks has access to in order to make decisions.
  • Prison Break Rooting for: Fish, Tbag, DB Cooper, Lincoln, and the Mafia Guy. Will they win? Not sure. They got renewed for Spring, so maybe they'll be cooling their heels in the Joliet Prison a bit longer.

    5. And I'm officially on a Yarn Fast (I like that better than a diet) until Stitches West. Yep, I"m going...with my SIL Candace.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Before and After

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The felting went fine, thanks for asking! Here is the before picture. Clockwise from the top: a maroon/purple garter stitch potholder, the Teva Durham Kokopelli bag, a light blue and grey i-cord, and my Vintage Velvet Scarf. All amidst flotsam and jetsum of the kitchen table.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here is the after. Um, pretty much the same. Sort of. The Vintage Velvet Scarf got smaller (as expected) and some of my very loose stitches got tighter. The cable became much, much more evident. So it looks good. The icord and the potholder pretty much look like they are supposed to. The felted purse went from a normal sized purse to an itty bitty bag, which is OK. I went into it gung ho and knit up the bag (which uses a lot of short rows to get the interesting shape) and then realized that when TD says 'felted', she meant just a light felt to tighten it up a bit, not to felt it down to a fabric. But...I had knit it with the 'knowledge' that the felting would cover up my erros. Oops.

close up of bag
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The bag stands alone! And it's pretty cute. Holds nothing, but it's pretty cute. I will probably enter this in the fair next year, and will use it as an evening-type bag.

We had a nice day yesterday: we drove to Pacific City to check on our property i.e. the Blackberry patch, had lunch at the Pelican Pub, let the dogs play in the water, and visited a new yarn shop: Nestucca Bay Fibers. It's a small shop with Debbie Bliss, Crystal Palace, Cascade 220, good prices but nothing unique. Bought some kid mohair just to be friendly.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Felting Friday

It's a bit after 7am, and four (count em) four felted items are in the washing machine.

Last night at 9 pm Tim's coworker Dwayne called to ask if Tim could go in early for Dwayne (who is apparently very under the weather, feel better Dwayne). So Tim got up at 6 to go in (he should be off around 11 am, which is a bonus) and I got up with him to get some stuff done. There's a giant basket of laundry, and before I can do that I wanted to get some things felted, specifically:

1. The final piece of Tim's mysterious Christmas gift
2. The last potholder for family gifts
3. My vintage velvet scarf (yes, it is done)
4. My loop-d-loop Kokopelli bag (worried about this one).

We had a great Thanksgiving, although Tim's cooking turned out better than mine. We started with marinated shrimps (Tim made them) around noon, and then started cooking mid-afternoon. We ended up with:

1. Samosas: with homemade dough, which was a bit thick, these were OK (I cooked)
2. Pakoras (potato and onion), good
3. Dry-fried shrimp, which is not dried shrimp fried but rather a twice-fried, reduction glazed shrimp that was awesome. Tim made, of course.

Then we finished around 7 with pie (neither of us made).

It was a cold, cloudy, wet and foggy day, so we hung out at home except for a jaunt around the block with the dogs, who were getting a bit antsy by this point.

Anyway...felting pics tomorrow (knock wood).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I just wanted to wish any of my blog readers from the US a happy Thanksgiving.

We're having a non-traditional day, with Indian and Chinese appetizers.

May your turkeys be well stuffed!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hey Leanne!

I am not good at keeping secrets. At all. So to be a 'Secret Pal' for ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR was hard. Hard hard hard.

So....after nine months of secrecy, I can officially say hi to my Secret Pal: Leanne! .

At times during the past nine months I've felt like a stalker, since I feel like I know a little bit about Leanne but she doesn't know anything about me (except, of course, what good taste I have in yarn gifts, ha ha). I've suffered through her move, through her sometimes-not-so-great job, through some frustrations over some aspects of the Internet.

I've been impressed by the fact that her blog was discussed in
USA Today (USA Today! She's a celebrity!)

I've been totally blown away by her knitting (and have improved so much this year, congrats to you, you are really an incredibly talented artist). I've been jealous of her other Secret Pals (how petty is that!). But I think I've made this year a little nicer for her, and she does great GUSHING posts over her Secret Pal surprises.

So I hope I've made a new knitting friend--and I've had a great time being Leanne's pal...mostly thanks to Leanne!

Thanks Leanne!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Tim!

Today is the birthday of the love of my life. Happy Birthday Sweetie!

And where is the man of the hour? At work. Sheesh. NASDAQ is testing today and it was his turn to be 'up' in the rotation. So he went zooming off at 5:45 am (after setting off the smoke alarm by trying to boil water for coffee in the teakettle, after forgetting to put in the water) and he's hopefully wrapping it all up around now. There are presents and cards and lots of animals waiting to tell him Happy Birthday while they're awake (including me). Tonight we'll go to a new restaurant, El Vaquero, for dinner.

And whatever he wants to do this afternoon, we'll do. It's his day, after all.

Friday, November 18, 2005

In Praise of Secret Pals

Secret Pal Stuff
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I have an awesome secret pal.

Nine, count 'em nine, balls of yarn appeared in the package! Four in this very soft and decorate eyelash yarn (and I'm one of the few people I know who really like eyelash yarn...this will definitely be a magic scarf). Three balls in a mixed green pallette with sparkles and flags. Two balls of sock yarn in rust and brown. And some feet cream yum! And my most intriguing gift...the cookies and clods...clearly a Canadian delicacy. Can't wait to try it!

Thanks Secret Pal! The mind reels!
>Can I just say, the whole 'sending gifts to people you don't know' is one of the coolest things about the knitting community. THink about it. Would you just send stuff to someone you don't know with the 'expectation' that someone ELSE you don't know will send you stuff too? Knitters do it ALL THE TIME. I mailed off my final secret pal box this morning--I've been receiving gifts all year long. And I had a great holiday gift exchange with RoseM last Christmas, and I'm anticipating a great exchange with Emy in Singapore this year (Hi Emy! I mailed your box today!).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Once again, minimal knitting content

Another crazy week with minimal knitting time. I have some weird pulled muscle in my back, so that hasn't helped: it is hard to knit when you are rolled up in a ball moaning. At least for me.

But random thoughts:

1. I'm reading The Domesday Book and while I am not a sci fi time travel fan, I'm liking this book a lot. A real page turner, it is.

2. I bought some pink prism cool stuff in a destash. I think 300 yards. Suggestions? Moebius perhaps?

3. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". I hear 10 seconds of it and then it is stuck in my head for days.

4. Still no mice.

5. We watched Star Wars 3 this weekend. Talk like he does, why does Yoda? Be in normal order can't one line? A little annoying it got. In Yoda speak maybe I'll write an article. More incomprehensible than other articles it can not be.

6. I just realized that I lapsed into Yoda speak in random thought #1. Totally unplanned.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quick Updates

1. The Vintage Velvet scarf progresses nicely, even though I had to frog back four rows because I did a bad cable cross. I'd show you pics but they just look like blechness...even with Megan's advice to try without a flash it just isn't working. Oh well. It is a great looking scarf, if I do say so myself.

2. Thanks to those who have asked about little Stella Cat...she went for about a month without a seizure (that we could tell) but had another one early Saturday morning. But so far, not another one. So we're still in a holding mode.

3. Mice: looks like they're gone. [Insert big sight of relief here}.

4.Christmas is starting to freak me out.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Red Socks

red socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
These red socks...knit two at a time on two circs, two up....are finally done. I can't even remember when I started on them. I just had enough 'television knitting' with other things that I didn't need a sock project. So, finally finished them and here they are. The pooling that you see in the picture isn't nearly as evident in the real socks. oh well. Mountain Colors Bearfoot. Can't complain.

I cast on...just one this time...for socks for Tim out of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Ruby River or Red Ruby or Red River or Ruby Red is a pretty colorway.

I finally received a package that I bought at someone's stash reductoin on KR...two skeins of Prism Cool stuff in Pink, some Lorna's Laces, and some other sock yarn. Very cool. I'm excited, especially about the prism, and will probably do a moebius out of that.

We spent yesterday 'getting things done'...much was accomplished...lots of little tasks. Then last night I got slammed with what I think is food poisoning, which has made today quite the mellow day for me. And that's nice too, except for of course the food poisoning. Sometimes I guess we need a little reminder to relax.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Beware: actual knitting content

little things
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Finally, a chance to post some pictures of knitting! First of all, I made these two little Christmas ornaments from some red acrylic yarn that was part of a eBay grab bag accented with Crystal Palace Fizz (I love that yarn. Why do many hate it so?). They were both easy...about half an hour each...and they will decorate some packages somewhere. I might even make another.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's a close up of the vintage velvet scarf with Touch Me. Doesn't look like much, does it?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lack of Knitting Concentration

I haven't been knitting lately, with no good excuse.Oh, I do a row or two or three but no major progress.

I'm a little preoccupied with the battle against the mice who are living under our house (and who want to be in our house). I really, really, really hate mice. Hate. Mice. Hate 'em.

Luckily, Tim is a fearless warrior against the tiny invaders, and mans the traps daily. I think we're close to getting them ousted. But I'm sort of obsessing over them.

Hate 'em.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cheated on Yarn diet

Yeah. It lasted about a day. can now buy Socks that Rock direct from the artisans at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Very cool. Love this much as Mountain Colors.

And Sunday? I was spinning and sort of complaining-but-not-really about the high speed whorl of my little Kiwi, and Tim says "why don't you buy that wheel you want? " At first I was sure it was too expensive, but then we discussed it and figured thatChristmas is coming and we usually get gifts of cash from our parents--so I could look at is as an early Christmas present. Since the wheel takes 6-8 weeks to arrive the timing should work out perfectly.

Who can argue with logic like that?

So, a Schacht Matchless (!!!!) will be on its way to me. Pretty cool.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


We accomplished a lot (OK a little bit) this weekend. The biggest accomplishment is the 'opening' of Tim's eStudio for his ceramic work:

Tim's eStudio

It is sponsored by a gallery called DIVA (Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts), which is a great organization.

I finished the last Christmas potholder (it needs felting still) and did a few little knit Christmas ornaments (will post tomorrow).

A good weekend.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Deep breath

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It has been a crazybusy week, more so than normal, because of various visitors to the J school and our big 'event' of the year, a semi-formal dinner on Thursday night. Add a couple of bad nights' sleep because of the time change just to increase the craziness. It has been nice today to just kick back and watch the Ducks beat Cal and be warm and cozy while the weather outside is frightful.

I have finished the Blackberry, and it is a bit on the heavy side but I do like it quite a bit. I think I'll knit a closure (maybe do frogs or something, or perhaps I'll felt a button, the yarn I used would probably be incredibly feltable) but can't decide yet.

I've started on the home run toward Christmas gifts, with half a potholder done. I got it in my crazy head today to make knitted ornaments for package decorations, so have printed out a couple patterns from the Internet. The thought of small, quick projects is quite appealling, given that I've done a couple of fairly big projects lately.

Oh. And I'm on a yarn diet (yet again). My sister-in-law invited us down for Stitches West in February, and we plan to go. So that gives me three months to use up what I have. Yeah. Right.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I am so fickle. A few weeks back I posted about my new love, Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon. I do still love you, MCMR, I DO, but I have found another softsoftsoft yarn that has turned my head.

Touch Me, by Muench.

Yes, it is chenille, which means it worms. Yes, you cannot (CANNOT) make an error because tinking is ridiculous. Yes, the yarn sort of wraps around itself as you're knitting and it becomes a total pain to straighten it out. And YES, it is ridiculously expensive.

Don't care.

This yarn is so soft, so delicious, so, oh I don't know, wonderful, that I want to knit a cave out of it. Really. That would only cost about, oh, a gazillion dollars.

A girl can dream. About Touch Me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Total Trick or Treaters: 3

so spooky
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
On a wet Oregon night, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that we only had three total trick or treaters. The best one, of course, was Evan, who came charmingly dressed as a pumpkin boy. In honor of his first Halloween, I dressed as a cat (kittyville hat, black gloves, a pair of black pantyhose tucked in my back pocket for a tail, and whiskers and kitten nose made of black eyeliner). Tim put one of the dogs' costumes on and went as a man eating shark man person thing.

Evan was the cutest of us all, no competition.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Girl's Night Out

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
'Cause it's the girls' night out
Away ye merry lassies
Get your brooms, get 'em out
We'll ride the wind tonight
Oh it's the girls' night out
Away ye merry lassies
Get your brooms, get 'em out
We'll ride the wind tonight
-Priscilla Herdman

I'm not a big Halloween fan, but something kind of got into me this year. Maybe it was the $5 dog costumes at Target.

smesd 2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Cody (red dog) was a little more enthusiastic about his costume than Shasta was...she doesn't have a lot of patience for folderol like dressing up. This is a nice shot of the actual shark head though.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And me? I knit obsessively on the kittyville hat on Saturday so now I have a cat head that matches little Stella's. It is a cute hat that Tim says won't embarass him if I wear it around the neighborhood.

We carved pumpkins, have four bags of candy for our likely four visitors, so Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A long long time ago...

...when I was a theatre major in college (for one year), a professor tried to drum into our heads the need to speak General American English. That is, English that was free of regional vernacular and had a standard (and probably non-threatening) accent. I recall not doing that well as she tested us, although being a native Midwesterner I thought I had a leg up on some of my East Coast classmates. Alas, my syllabant 's' was my undoing.

Anyway, I found an interesting quiz online today regarding this very topic, and found out:

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

25% Yankee

10% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Interesting. Clearly, six years in Boston had somewhat of an effect (yes, I call it a rotary, for those of you who have taken the quiz) and three years in Tennessee left a bit of Dixie in me.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Why is it...

jessie and cape
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...that projects always seem to finish at the same time?

I finished this cape from Cat Bordhi's book (which ( love) (except I bound off a bit too tightly, I'm hoping this will stretch a bitch when I block). I also am just about finished with my blackberry (only need the edging, which is, ok, a heck of a lot).

I started the Kittyville hat from Stitch n Bitch, basically in order to have a hat to weear on Halloween. Not sure if I'll finish but it is a fun little knit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I don't know how they figure this out BUT

My blog is worth $2,822.70.
How much is your blog worth?

Christmas Countdown!

I can't believe that Christmas is two months away.

I have to admit, I'm one of those people who like things all done and wrapped up and ready to go before Thanksgiving. Thank my mom for that. Plus, I hate standing in line to mail stuff and try to hit places when the lines are short. Since we have to mail at least four boxes out, you can sense my dilemma.

So how are we doing on Christmas gifts? We like to make a lot of our gifts, so between knitting and potting we pretty much cover all of our bases. We discussed the process last night. Tim has one or two things left to do (and I have to be intentionally vague here since certain friends and family read our blogs). I think I have all the things that go into my secret pal's and holiday gift elf's boxes but just have to put everything in there.

I also have to knit one more potholder and felt it (and I have another thing to felt, so it won't be too much of a problem) although it is hard to get excited over doing a garter stitch potholder. I must also finish off my mom's sweater (need to make buttons) and have a couple other fiber-related things for family to finish up. But I should be OK.

And Tim's handmade present is done, except for a few minor details.

Are we seeing a pattern here? I can get the major part of something done but then the actual 'termination' takes FOREVER. I have sweaters that are unseamed or missing closures, socks with ends that need weaving in, etc etc. I just can't finish things off. The start of the journey is more fun than the end. Can you argue with that?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Obsessive Knitting

rimrock 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I have been obsessed, OBSESSED I tell you, with kntting the Rimrock Cape from Cat Bordhi's First Treasury of Magical Knitting.

I love doing moebius (moebi?) and this cape has a moebius collar. And to make it even more obsessive-making, the collar's knit in what readers of my blog know is my new knitting love, Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon. So I was obsessed with finishing that yesterday. Then, comes the creation of the cape part, which is alternating rounds of Mountain Colors Mohair and Mountain Colors Moguls. Now, these aren't as fun to work with as the Merino Ribbon, but the darn cape grows so fast! Right before your eyes!! So I really couldn't stop.
All day yesterday. Row after row.

Right now it looks sort of like a 1950's stole, but it will probably be finished soon. I did make myself work on my black berry today to break the obsession, but my fingers are itching to get back to it.

And what did YOU do?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bits and Pieces of This and That

1. Tim and I babysat Evan last night. Or at least I think we did. He was in his dark room asleep when we got there, and not a beep emitted from the baby monitor. Steve and Jen had their first night out *alone* since Evan's arrival, and I think they enjoyed it. They were very calm for first-time go-outers...not like sitcom parents who leave a list of things to do a hundred pages long and who call every ten minutes.

2. While babysitting, I worked on my socks and we watched "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Universe?)" which was utterly charming, and I want to read the books now.

3. I have done the cuff and the first few rows of the Blackberry sleeve 2, and dreams have stopped.

4. I am enchanted by my moebius cape. Pics soon.

5. Tim and I both completed a Five Star!!! Sudoku.

6. Stella seems seizures for almost a week, knock wood.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sleeve me alone!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I had Blackberry dreams all last night...I slept fitfully and would wake up thinking about the sleeves. Why? Maybe because I haven't been working on it for a while, and it was my subconscious telling me to get back to Blackberry! The additional yarn should be here any day, and I have enough to do sleeve two, so I will get back to it.

I'm really enjoying the moebius Rimrock cape and I love the Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon (um, did I mention that?) so I've been working on that a lot. But I'll spend a bit of quality time with the Blackberry this weekend.

Chatted with STella's new vet yesterday, and we're in a 'holding' pattern to see if she continues to have seizures and if the frequency or duration changes. She hesitates to put Stella on drugs if they aren't occuring regularly or aren't lasting long. So we'll see how she does.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Knitting, Reading, etc

I'm too lazy to flickr picks of the first sweater sleeve for my Blackberry, but I've finished that. I'm still working on my Cat Bordhi cape collar, and the socks are slowly getting legs.

No news yet on Stella, I jump whenever the phone rings. Thank you, everyone who left a positive word about Stella in the comments section. She's waving her little paw at you!!

I've read some good (not great) books lately. I read "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. I didn't like it as well as I liked The Mermaid Chair...but I know others like SLoB much more than MC. Some of the themes were the same: relationships between children and parents, between people and their Gods, but MC just resonated with me more.

And for something completely different, I read "The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella. Very light and frothy, nice for a rainy weekend. I started The Doomsday Book but it is a bit slow going as it almost feels like the first four chapters were missing from the book (does that make sense?).

So that's it for now. Work pulls me in a gazillion different directions. I did some spinning today and that really helps to calm me down. maybe I should tote my spindle around with me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Our little cat Stella (scroll down to see her picture, she is the little black cat) is in a bad way. We knew she had a bit of brain damage at birth, but for the past week she's been having some strange 'seizure-like episodes' that involve hyper grooming, loss of control, disorientation, and some odd drool. These episodes last less than a minute each, and she's had three in a week.

She's going to a new vet today: our old vet, the Amazing Marnee, moved to Portland and she recommended Dr. Gibson, so let's hope she knows what's going on. It may be epilepsy, it may be FHS,it may be a food allergy, but Stella is suffering and we must find a way to fix it.

I'll update this post if we have any news, in the meantime, please hold a good thought for little Stella.

UPDATE: The vet is doing bloodwork to rule out 'organic' causes (allergies, hyperthyroidism, the like) but feels very confident that it is epilepsy caused by her head trauma at birth. We'll know more tomorrow. She has ruled out FHS for the time being. The other piece of good news is that Dr. G. will be seeing the Amazing Marnee this weekend, so we'll get a 'free' second opinion too. The likely treatment would be a low dose of Phenobarbita (sp?). least we're starting the healing process. She's had such a hard life and she's only two...we'll do whatever we can to help her out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How do I love thee, Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon?

my new love
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Let me count the ways.

I love your softness and pliability.
I love your muted yet beautiful colors.
I love that even though you're a ribbon yarn, you don't snag on my needles.
I love how you knit up.
I love the cape from Cat Bordhi's book "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles" even though I'm not a cape girl. But this cape, made with a moebius collar of merino ribbon and body of Mountain Colors Moguls and Mountain Colors Mohair, should be pretty incredible.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I spent most of my knitting time on Saturday turning the heels of these two socks, toe up, on two circular needles. The main yarn is Mountain Colors in some pretty reds and blues, with a black toe and heel courtesy of KnitPicks Essentials.

rainy saturday
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's what a rainy fall Saturday looks like around our house. Tim accused me of posing this picture, but honestly I didn't...first Stella (black cat) snuck into her corner, followed by Cody who is *supposed* to be ont he maroon blanket but didn't want to get too close to Stella, and then finally Jessie Cat, who has never snuggled down on this sofa until this past Rainy Saturday.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Block Head

midwest sunrise
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I love blocking. Let me tell you why.

I really got tired of this scarf. While it has been called an easy knit by some people, I didn't find it that took more concentration than an 'easy knit' but enough repitition that the concentration became boring, if that makes any sense. A lot of counting. And markers wouldn't have helped.

So, even though you are supposed to do 25 repeats of the 18-row pattern, I stopped at 18. The scarf was barely 5 feet long before blocking, which is pretty short for a scarf.

Except. For the magic of blocking. I added 2 feet (@ FEET ) to the length of the scarf through blocking with my steam iron. And the pattern came out. And it looks quite good. And it weighs almost nothing.

I have enough yarn to try to make a pair of matching gloves...we'll see.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's the first eight or so inches of the first sleeve for my blackberry. The yarn is thick and patterned so it is hard to see the cable or the bobbles, but believe me, they're there!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Stick a fork in it...

..I think the Midwest Sunrise scarf is done. It isn't quite long enough, but I can't do another stitch on it. Just can't.

Pics tomorrow...going to bind off now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Not Much New!

Tim is home, and that's nice. I finally feel that our lives are getting a bit back to normal. Work has been busy, too busy for the first three weeks, and I feel pulled in a million different directions. Knitting really makes me focus and calm down. I haven't needed it that much until now. So that's good.

We've started to become addicted to Sudoku . Our local paper publishes a new puzzle every day and Tim can do the four star ones, while I'm happy if I get a 2 star one done. Now if there was just some way I could combine knitting and sudoku. Any ideas?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Berry Berry Fast Knit

the fronts.
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yesterday and today I finished the 'fronts' of the Blackberry. I would guess, though, that progress will slow from now on, since I will enter the sweater sleeve vortex and then have to pick up lots and lots of stitches.

It is a fun knit.

don't mess me me
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Our little cat Stella had a tough day yesterday...she was a bit possessed and did maniacal grooming, and she kind of freaked me out (she freaked herself out too, though). I wish I knew what was in her little (and I do mean little) mind.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

So Much Done!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I miss Tim like the dickens, but I really can get a lot accomplished when I'm at home by myself. The vest is finished...I think it looks good. There was a discussion at KR that you shouldn't do cables with non-solid color yarn but I think they look good.

What else have I done? Let's see. I'm about halfway through with the new John Berendt book, "City of Falling Angels." It is great! I helped a grad student with a research project and did some coding for her. I moved my summer clothes to the guest room closet and the winter clothes to our bedroom closet. I've walked the dogs. I've run errands including doing some (gasp) Christmas shopping.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And I've knit. Oh lordy how I've knit. I finished the back of Blackberry. I've added four inches to the Midwest Moonlight (renamed Midwest Sunrise) scarf. And I've done the toes and a bit of the feet on two toe-up socks using Mountain Colors Bearfoot.

And ordered some yarn for a Moebius cape.

And it isn't even 1pm on Sunday. I think I might need a nap!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blackberry Knitalong and other fun

I've started a Knitalong for the Blackberry pattern from the new issue of Knitty! I've never hosted a KAL so I don't really know what I"m doing. However, if you want to join, please visit:

Blackberry Knitalong

and I'll send you an invitation and hook you up. Never fear, I'll post the progress here also.

I had a fun afternoon yesterday. Jen (mom of Evan) and I met up at Sweet Life Patisserie (oh how poorly that is spelled) to test wedding cakes. Jen's sister Lyn is getting married at the end of the month and Jen and Steve are bringing the cake (to the wedding at Multnomah Falls, about a 2 hour drive). (Shades of the Martha Stewart Apprentice show). We had fun chatting and sampling three cakes and six?seven? different kinds of filling and frosting. Having planned my own wedding long distance, I never had the opportunity to do a cake testing.

We also got to catch up and I got to hold Evan the whole time, who was a perfect baby for an hour and then grew very weary of his Auntie Kim. Oh well. Rejected by yet another man.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Love this quiz.

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.

A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.

No wonder you and London will get along so well.

What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.