Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Feeling better...

I'm feeling a little better (more positive) about my trip to Houston, I leave tomorrow and come back on Saturday so that's only a couple of days, which shouldn't be stressing me out so much.

I'm pretty much ready to go...the ruffles scarf on my new denise interchangeables is in my carry on...and I have a couple good books to read too. I present Friday morning and hopefully I'll have some time to go out and walk around Houston, since the weather is supposed to be pretty good. I'll get to see some old friends too, so that should be fun.

I've been spinning some cream and brown wool, and I"m spinning it small enough so I *might* have enough for a real project (like a sweater!).

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Travel anxiety

I think I'm a little agoraphobic: a few days before I travel I freak out. Totally.

I didin't sleep well last night so I'm a bit of a mess today. And the knitting is just...there...nothing new or exciting to show.

I will be taking the Ruffles with me to show it a good time in Houston.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rain, rain...

We are having a drenching Easter sunday here in the Willamette Valley, and so it is a good day for Tim and I to hang out, reconnect, and enjoy our little family.

First, the update on the YNBA: it is still going well, although I realized yesterday that I want to make an Afghan out of the 8-plus balls of coral colored Patons Bella that I have floating around the stash AND that I need a 'neutral' color to offset the brightness of the corinthian AND that Paton's Bella is discontinued...so I better keep my eyes out for a deal. Herschnerr's has two neutrals I would want at full price. I'll keep an eye on eBay to see if anyone wants to sell some cheaper....my YNBA didn't take discontinued yarn into effect. Drat.

Second, I spent some time watching 'spinning exotic fibers' yesterday and can sort of get the long draw to spin woolen. I have a mess of yarn spun woolen that might be suitable for, oh, an itchy cat basket but I can't think of what else to do with it. I guess I'll keep it for reference. Notice the yarn doesn't even get a picture here.

Third, I figured out a use for the pretty yarn I spun (below)...a moebius scarf from Cat Bordhi's Treasure of Magical Knitting. I'm actually quite excited about the moebius, which I'll start when I return from Houston (going this Thurs-Sat).

Fourth, I finished the back of the white capri cables and I like it a lot.

Enjoy your chocolate bunnies!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Message to St. Anthony

Dear St. Anthony,

I'm not a catholic, so I'm not well-versed in this Patron saint stuff. There is a great song by The Malvinas called "St. Anthony Lost and Found" and so I know you are the patron saint of Lost Things. So, thank you for your assistance today as not one by two Lost Things appeared. First...the metacam for our precious Shasta, who got a bit sore playing at the beach yesterday (Tim had the day off and we headed over to Florence to let the doggles play in the surf, one of their favorite things. We also went to the Sea Lion Caves, which was pretty fun considering that I'm claustrophobic and have a little fear of tsunamis now).

Anyway, Shasta was stiff and sore and generally miserable today. I tore apart the Animal supply shelf in the pantry looking for her metacam, and just couldn't find it. Tim ground up a little aspiring and we gave that to her, and then we headed out to run a few errans. When we got back, I said that I was going to hunt one more time for her metacam. And there on the floor in front of the pantry was the bottle.

The second thing: I have this two-piece outfit that I was considering taking to the conference in Houston next week. It is a sweater and a skirt...light blue, sort of springy, sort of professional, I like it. Several days last week I searched for the top: couldn't find it. I convinced myself that I gave it to Goodwill at the end of last summer. Well, minutes after finding the metacam, I opened a closet door to put the laundry basket in the closet and....there was the top. Odd.

Anyway, St. Anthony, I clearly have little in the way to talk about knitting so I'll just thank you for your help today. In other news, I worked on the ruffles a bit in the car to the beach yesterday, but it was a bit bumpy and didn't get a lot done. I *think* I've figured out how to spin woolen from watching a new video this morning. Other than that, pretty quiet in the knitting front.

I'm wondering what else I've lost that might reappear today. Will keep you posted. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What I've Been Up To!


IMG_2763
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Time for some pictures.

First, lookeee lookeee....some cool yarn I spun myself. I got the fiber from a seller on eBay (leave a comment if you want to know who, I'll check and let you know) and it's 80% merino and 20% tussah silk. THe seller dyes her own stuff and every batch is different (bummer) but I MAY have enough for a scarf, or the ends of a scarf at least. We'll see. I'm quite proud of it.

IMG_2764
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I'm about to cast on for the body of the bag of the "Knit a Knotted" from IK. I think I wrote earlier that I had some mystery yarn in my stash that I'm using for this. I bought the yarn from someone on eBay: two colors of blue, one color of peach and one multicolored boucle. the boucler is the parts of the scarf that in the picture look like, um, crap? Or mistakes? It looks much better in person.

IMG_2765
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Voila: the full length picture of the strap that is soon to be the strap and the body of the bag.

IMG_2766
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And so the Ruffles grows.

A couple updates:

-91 days left in the YNBA. I have not bought ANY yarn or rovings in the first 7 days. Yay for me!
-Still no VK. It is also not to be found at neither B&N nor Borders.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Wait (Whoa Yes Wait a Minute Mr. Postman)

Did you get your new VK yet?

You did?

Why didn't I get mine?

I think I go through this every few months or so....I read that others got their VK and I don't have mine and I get all nervous-like and I start making plans to stop by Borders to get a copy of VK so I can look at it NOW!

Usually it arrives just in the nick of time before I spend the $ at the bookstore for a duplicate copy. So that should mean it comes today. I'll let you know.

Did a lot of spinning yesterday, this gorgeous silk/merino handpaint that I bought on EBay.I'll set the twist today and post a pic. Also did a lot of work on the 'knit a knotted' (that needs a new name) and on the white shell. I love spring break.

I just finished reading "The Geographer's Map" and it wasn't very good. Also read "Broken for You" which wasn't very good either. I started "Baker Towers" but got bored easily. I need a new book. Off to the library today. Suggestions for good reads are also welcome!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Stella and JessieCat


IMG_2653
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Appropos a discussion on KR, here are my beautiful girls.

Strapped!


IMG_2762
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This is the strap for the Knit a Knotted Paper Bag from Summer o4 IK. The IK pattern used Habu textiles paper yarn, which I'm not going to do...due to YNBA and the fact that I have this mystery yarn in pastel spring/summer colors in my stash that I thought I'd make a scarf from and then decided it would be too itchy....

....take a breath...

....and so instead am making a bag. This is the strap, which works into the body of the bag, which then narrows down to the other strap. There is a cable in the middle which is hard to see in this picture but trust me, it is there.

IMG_2761
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The meadow flowers shawl has one big end to weave in but other than that, it is complete! I love how this looks, and I liked making it. I may start on Madli's shawl from the summer 04 IK next.

IMG_2759
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The ends also need weaving in on my capri cables shell, but I like how it looks.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Going Batt-y

So, I've been spinning a variety of roving.....feeling competent...being consistent....and decided to spread my spinning wings today by spinning some dyed batts that I bought at Dye Lots.

< Insert sound of squealing brakes here>.

I have no clue what I'm doing. I've watched by video (Basics and Beyond) over and over but just can't get it. I'm pretty sure I need to be spinning woolen but between the sort of hard to follow instructions, my own incompetence, and the frustration of the bat all I'm gettin gis the slubby yarn of all slubby yarns. I posted an SOS on KR to find another video that might make more sense.

< insert sound of exasperated screaming here>/

So. Back to my lovely merino-silk roving, my personal spinning affirmation.

Any hints or tips are welcome.

96 days left in the YNBA

Friday, March 18, 2005

YNBA

As you all as my witnesses, I am on an official yarn diet. I enter a YNBA (yarn non buying agreement) with myself, to last from this day (March 18, 2005) until June 24, 2005. From my calculations, that is a total of 98 days.

I realized a few moments ago that my stash was out of control. What started as two sorta full bins in the closet (and a plastic storage bag partially full under the bed) is now two bins overflowing with yarn, a plastic storage bag overflowing with yarn, at least four big bags of yarn stuck into nooks and crannies, and a giant LL Bean tote overflowing with yarn.

Theme: overflow.

Plus, I have lots of fiber to spin, which means more yarn. And given the stash I have, I could make Christmas presents from now til doomsday, and still have yarn left over for, um, me. So I must not buy yarn until June 24, 2005.

Why that date, in particular? It is the first day of the Black Sheep Gathering , a terrific fiber festival here in Eugene. Lots of unique yarn and fibers. A great stock up place. So that's why.

So, I now begin. However, there are some caveats I've allowed myself

1. If I find yarn that is more than 50% off, then I can buy that. Note, not 50% off, MORE than 50% off. But I have to have a specific project in mind, I can't buy it just because it is 'such a deal'.
2. But if I bring more in, I must get rid of the same amount (in grams) of the yarn. Either through EBay or some other means.
3. If I run out of fiber for spinning before June 24, 2005, then I can get some more. But as before, I must get rid of the same amount (in grams) of the yarn.
4. Fleece Artist is exempt from the YNBA. I love this yarn. It is difficult to find. Call my a hypocrit (and spell it correctly). It's my YNBA.

Wish me luck on my endeavor. Or if you wish, sing the Village People song with new lyrics:
"No fun to live with a
YNBA"

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Thank you Secret Friend!

I received a sweet card and a 'good luck' ladybug clip/bookmark from my KR Secret Pal today. It was such a sweet surprise! Thank you very much!

What's Green and Sits Outside?*

Happy St. Patty's day. I just returned from taking Tim to the airport...he is off to St. Louis to spend a couple days with his family. After the disaster that was Thanksgiving he didn't even ask me to go...he is meeting his sister from SJ there. So that should be nice for them. He took the camera so I can't post any pictures of...

...the almost done Meadow Flowers shawl! One more side of lace border and then I'm blocking it baby! I'm very pleased.

I cast on for another Capri Cables shell (I know..I know...there are lots of shells in the world to knit, but I LIKE this one) and as soon as the shawl is done I'll cast on yet another project (not sure what..maybe a felted something, or another afghan square).

The lace border requires incredible concentration but it seems to be going OK.

*Paddy O'furniture. I love that joke.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Border

I'm working on the border of the meadow flowers shawl.

Man, my head is going to explode. This is 180 degrees away from mindless knitting!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Still not much knitting...

...due to unforeseen need to replace the washing machine. And Tim's desire to completely rearrange the furniture in the front of the house to make room for his new television set. This weekend was just one domino falling after the other...started moving furniture while waiting for the repairman...repairman giving us the ridiculous estimate for fixing the worst washing machine ever made (Maytag Neptune, I curse ye)...off to Sears for new washer...back to move furniture....realize need more furniture for new television...realize need new cables for new television...off to donate the old television since if we don't do something with it it will live in the middle of the living room...and on and on.

BUT...finished capri cables and will sew it up during spring break. The ruffles scarf is about 22", the meadow flowers shawl about the same length. I think I have spun enough gray and black yarn for the little bucket bag I'm designing in my head.
I'm looking forward to some serious knitting time during spring vacation.

Another week of almost-summer like weather predicted here in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Not Much Knitting...

...as I'm in the midst of grading 105 six-page papers, advising two PhD dissertations on their methodologies, and critiquing a 40 page document by the student ad team. A bit busy on this end. I'm about to meet my small discussion section for breakfast celebrating the last day of class (yay) and of winter term (yay yay).

The second piece of the hunk of black sweater is almost done (and honestly, I've made a good half-dozen mistakes on both sides that I didn't catch until, oh, 25 rows later) so whichever side is least tainted will become the front. Ruffles grows by millimeters. It is looking more ruffly though. No progress on Meadow Flowers, and the new Lion and Lamb looks at me beseechingly from the top of the stash. Next week, my beauty, I promise.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ruffles Power!


IMG_2748
Originally uploaded by kbshee.



How the heck do you photograph an on-the-needles Ruffles? Here is mine. I'm knitting this with hand painted soy silk yarn. It is quite light and soft, but MAN does it take a long time. I do think it look scool thoujgh. Tim doesn't quite get the Ruffles. Oh well.

My Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb is in transit. Clapotis here I come!

IMG_2749
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The meadow flowers shawl is about 27" from point to top...I like working on this a lot, I don't know if it will make me more confident for future lace projects but it might.

IMG_2751
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Voila: the sleeve detail of the capri cable cardigan. I think this is so pretty. I may have to knit up another one of these with some of the cotton in my stash.

IMG_2750
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is the entire front of the big hunk of black knitting. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the other piece, hopefully it will be done for a trip at the end of March.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

"Dead Week"

We are about to enter week 10 of Winter term, or what is affectionately (???) known as Dead Week. I think traditionally it was supposed to be a week where nothing was due for students, so they could prepare for ifnals. It has turned into the busiest week of the year as final projects are presented and papers are due. In my one class, I'll have six group presentations to grade, in the other I'll have 102 six-page papers to read. However, then I get a week off for spring break, and next term I have one class with only six students, so it should be a bit less stressful.

I know have 121 out of 181 stitches on the Meadow Flowers shawl. It should be about 10 more hours of knitting on it and then I can start the border. I like that project a lot. I'm also about 1/3 of the way done on the front of the shell. And the ruffles scarf....it's maybe 8 inches long. It is a fun scarf to knit, but it doesn't quite zip zip zip along.

I've been spinning black and grey yarn and am getting close to enough for my self-designed bucket bag (that I haven't designed yet...oh well). And my Lion and Lamb from Discount Yarn Sale is on the way....clapotis here I come!

I have more projects that I want to do than I have time, which I guess is the case for all knitters.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Big hunk of knitting

I'm almost done with the back to the capri cable shell...it is now a big hunk of knitting twice as big as the picture below. Cotton is not my favorite fiber to knit with. I have several very 'loose' stitches sprinkled throughout the sweater. Maybe it will shrink a bit when I block it, or maybe I'll just have to go back and tighten up some of the stitches. Anyway...are there any cottons that are good to knit with? I'm using cotton fleece from Brown Sheep...I don't think I have used any other cottons.

I started the 'ruffles' scarf from Scarf Style using the soy silk pictured a few posts down. It is a fun scarf to do, but as others have said, it takes forever. Oh well, it should be a fun summer scarf. I've also done a few more inches on the meadow flowers shawl...and it is over 100 stitches on the needles now, so just getting through the eight-row repeat takes about 45 minutes. But I like it.

Odd dream last night: I dreamt about a ball of yarn in a beautiful deep periwinkle color. Does this mean I should go find that yarn?