Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good Weekend!

Even though it rained much of the time, and the temps were chilly, the weekend was good. Tim and I spent a lot of time together and had a good balance of relaxing and accomplishments. Here are the highlights:
1. We took two good walks with the dogs...each between 3 and 4 miles. One around the river and one around the neighborhood. We're going to Costa Rica in a few weeks and this is one way we are fooling ourselves that we're getting 'in shape.'
2. Tim made fried calimari Saturday night. We ate these while watching a very funny and odd movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I don't think I"ve ever coordinated food and videos before. Perhaps I'll start a trend.
3. Tim smoked 4 pounds of salmon and 3 racks of ribs on Monday. Just for the two of us. Yes, there were left overs (let's just say we have 4 pounds of salmon and 2.3 racks of ribs in various places in the refrigerator). We had a little CostCo adventure on Saturday, and thought we'd cook 'for the week' on Monday (which week? That new one with 15 days in it?)
4. We also watched "National Treasure" which I really liked (watched this on Sunday). Tim was worried that it would be silly (he who picked 'The Fast and the Furious' for video night one night) but he liked it too. We had salad that night. So I guess I stopped the trend dead in its tracks.
5. I spent almost 1.5 hours spinning yesterday, and may be close to having enough for Tim's sweater. I also did four swatches for a class I"m taking Saturday. Swatches. Fascinating things.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mystery Photo!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Do you know what these are?

Have you guessed?

OK. I'll tell you. They are 'felted soaps': bar soaps that have a felted wool covering around them. No, you can't take the covering off. Someone called it 'a sweater for soap' but it's not, it's more like a rough skin for soap. Anyway, did these by hand...took some batts, wrapped around, and then, well, washed my hands til the wool felted. Not a good use for the soap, but have read ways that you can felt without using too much soap.

Anyway, add these to the list of things I'll give people for Christmas. Hey, Merry Christmas, I think you smell (just kidding).

Tim says I must include explanations as to what it is with the gift. Oh. OK.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This is the back of the block lace sweater I'm making for my mom for Christmas. It doesn't look like much since:
a. it is jumbled up on the needles and
b. it really needs to be stretched out and
c. the yarn that the pattern recommends and that I'm using (Patons Divine) really doesn't have much 'stitch definition' and so you can't really see the box pattern that much.

But I like it. I like the colors very very much...I know it looks like a huge blob of rosey pinky red but there are actually threads of gold and rust in there too.

In other news, I read "A Good Yarn", the sequel to 'The Shop on Blossom Street" this weekend. It was OK. The best thing about it is that Debbie Macomber writes about real women with real problems: rebellious children, bad marriages, blah blah, but then the 'happily ever after' part was a bit contrived (IMHO). Anyway. If it didn't have knitting in it I'd never read it. But I did.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Summer? Who Needs Summer?

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
When you have a happy sock?

After a taste of summer this week (temps in the high 80s, ac on toward the end of the day, bright bright bright sunshine, and an hour drive out in the country last evening in the miata), summer is taking a nap and we're back to grey skies and drizzle. However, I have my own personal sunshine with this sock. Honestly, I have never been so taken with a yarn than I am with this one. And to answer HoJo's question: it is DG Confetti, color 222, dye lot 373. I just love it. But my guess is that you knew that.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This shawl is from a Creative Knitting (July) pattern...I really never thought I'd knit anything from this but it is a fairly straightforward lace pattern and I wanted to make a summer shawl using Hand Maiden, this gorgeous wool/silk yarn from Fleece Artist. The colorway here is pastels in reds, yellows, blues, absolutely gorgeous. It's an easy pattern that I can do for 'mindless' knitting.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's a close up look at the shawl...this hank is predominantly pink and the second one I have is predominantly blue, andi think they'll together make a great looking summer shawl.

Anyway...what else have I been doing? Well, I've read two biographies/autobiographies...sometimes I need a little pop cult fix in my life. The first book was 'Front Row'. about Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. The book was OK, sort of repititious: she's British, she had a bad relationship with her family, and thus she is a b*tch. Repeat each chapter. It would have made an interesting article in, say, Vanity Fair but a bit much for a book. The second book was by the actor Gene Wilder, called "Kiss Me Like a Stranger". I was looking forward to this book since Willie Wonka is my favorite film charachter of all time. The book had about 2 pages on the film. And about 2 pages on every film he was in. Too much on his relationships and not enough on his films and approach to art. I guess I should stick to reading knitting books for a while.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I angered the knitting goddess

My post yesterday...commenting that the book Hip to Knit is not hip at all....must have angered the Knitting Goddess. I started on the box lace sweater for my Mom, and have made a mess out of it not once but twice. The pattern is a straightforward basketweave, with the first row being a lace pattern that is basically this:

*k3, yo, slip1, k2tog, yo*

That I just can't keep straight. I think it is that second yarn over that gets me. Or else it is the Patons Divine. Anyway, I send supplications to the Knitting Goddess and ask her forgiveness for my hubris.

I also started on a shawl from a pattern in the new Creative Knitting. I haven't liked a thing..A THING...in this magazine until the current issue. The shawl is a simple yo k2tog pattern (although I really shouldn't say it is simple, given my current tenuous relationship with the KG) and I'm doing it in some beautiful pastel Fleece Artist wool/silk. Pictures once it gets going.

Anyway, on to more pictures.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
THis is my favorite afghan square so far. I love the cable that looks so complex but was really straightforward, and I only made one little boo boo on a lc or rc.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Don't these socks just make you happy? I am in love with these socks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Frogged: What Next?

I frogged the 'blues tank' that I was making in pink cotton-ease. I had made an oh-so-slight error in the calculation and the tank was being knit to fit two of me at least (at one time). It wasn't very fun to work on, and I just wasn't into knitting it. It was almost punishment.

So what should I make next? I started on a box lace pattern sweater for my mom (from the book Hip to Knit, which contains many patterns specifically not hip, but she likes Patons Divine and there is a sweater made from that very yarn in the book). I finished a square yesterday, and I have my Happy Socks (picks soon, I promise). So I need something sort of on the low-involvement knitting side of the spectrum for the last few weeks of school. I"m thinking about a lacy scarf in a somewhat easy pattern (from Exquisite KNits or something like that) or a reversible cable scarf for my brother for Christmas. I have yarn for both. Any thoughts welcome. The lacy scarf might be for me or might be for my aunt for Christmas.

I signed up for Audible.com, mostly so I could read the books for Knit the Classics and I started it yesterday. I learned that I need to NOT do an afghan square in order to get the whole story. Live and learn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Countdown to Summer

Most colleges and universities have finished for the year, but here on the west coast schools often use the 'quarter' system: we have three ten week terms instead of 2 15 week terms. There are pros and cons of each, but right now is one of the cons. Most other schools are done (and so it is hard to get in touch with colleagues, get reviews of manuscripts, etc) but we have about three weeks left. It works out better when everyone else is back to school mid-August and we're off until the end of September, so I'll have to remember that in a few months. Additionally, all the 'work' that a faculty should take care of is now crammed into the last few weeks of school: graduate defenses and decisions, committee work, prep for next year, lots of details that on their own don't take a whole lot of time, but all thrown into the last two weeks makes it a bit on the busy side.

So yesterday I had meetings, this morning meetings, tomorrow meetings, Thursday night 'grad' night to celebrate our ad students, and then after Memorial day two more weeks of meeting and then graduation and then...deep breath. All of these squeezed in between classes and research and grading and everything else.

Anyway, I'm 'simplifying' my projects for the next few weeks...nothing fancy, just straightforward escapist knitting. Then, once classes are over, I'm trying lace. Honest.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Picture These!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished these socks for Tim...not sure if there is a pattern here that I missed or not. It may be my fault that no clear pattern arises: I used size 3 needles that I think were a bit big, and the yarn was something like $2 a ball at clearance at the Ben Franklin (did I mention how much i LURVE the Ben Frankin)? But he likes them and that's the important thing.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I'm about 2/3 of the way done on this afghan square. I really love this square, it has been my favorite one so far...pattern is straightforward yet looks so complex.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I just started these socks, which I call 'the happy socks'. Last night I got to the heel flap, so they're going quickly (they look small, but believe me they fit fine on my hoof). I love doing socks, and someday may even move beyond the basic sock that I enjoy doing so much.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday Updates

The little room is done, done, done. Tim did the walls Friday night and even though we were tempted to sit up all night watching paint dry, we didn't...and we awoke Saturday morning to a pretty good looking room. Saturday morning we spent touching up (Tim) and picking dry paint off the woodwork (me) and then we called it done. Now the room awaits the new couch and it will be done.

So, clearly, not a lot of knitting done. I'm still working on the rib stitch ribbing for the Blues Tank and cast on for another sock. I'm about 3/5 of the way done with my square...things are just in the 'getting going' stage and not to interesting right now.

We had dinner with Steve and Jen, the parents-to-be" last night at a restaurant called the Koho Bistro. Interesting place, popcorn was on the appetizer menu (it was good!). Jen looks like she's just about ready to become a Mom, so now I get antsy whenever I get an email from them or when the phone rings during non-work hours. They still don't have a name for the baby (you may know him as Frodo) so if you have any good name ideas let me know and I'll pass them along. Last night at dinner we focused on 'er' names: Foster, Spencer. I think they thought the names weren't any better or worse than any of the gazillion names they have already considered.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Little Room Update

Well, it is not as bad as we thought....we bought more paint last night (bought being a misnomer, we went to the paint store with evidence and they gave us a bunch o' paint for free) and Tim did a little test to see if the 'new' paint looked more like the 'first round' paint or the 'second round' paint. The good news is that it matches...perfectly...the 'first round' paint so this means we don't have to paint the whole room, but re-roll the one wall and two half-walls that got the 'second round' paint. Whew. Big Relief.

We are supposed to have our first nice weekend in yonks, so that is very good news.

I finished Tim's socks (lots of meetings in the past 2 weeks) and cast on for a pair for me. I'm getting better at socks. I also cast on for the Blues Tank (will find a link soon) and am about halfway done with another square. Pics soon.

Cody the red dog had his teeth cleaned yesterday. What is such a simple thing for people is such a production for dogs....the last time he had his teeth cleaned he had a seizure from the anesthesia so I was pretty worried all day yesterday. But our wonderful vet Marnee was all over this and he did great. He was a little tired and hungry but is pretty much back to 100% adorable today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

To: the little room we've been painting for a few days

Little room , we're really looking forward to getting the new furniture for you, and you will be a much loved room.

Right now, I hate you.

Those stupid hardware store people have given us paint that is just one tiny little shade off so it doesn't match at all.

At all.

We spent ten hours in you on Sunday painting you before we ran out of paint. And now we have to paint you again. We are not happy. Not. happy.

Like I said, we will love you one day, but not today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I spy a FO!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I was a bit out of it yesterday. I was stiff and sore from painting (I did a lot of the areas that required body contortion...we have a wood stove in the corner) and from the cats' new obsession with having play time at 4:30 am. But...had a good night's sleep last night (and a hot bath) and I'm feeling as good as new.

Spent much of the out of it part of the evening yesterday working on the moebius scarf (as modeled by our lamp). The scarf is made out of my own handspun...a silk/merino blend for the main part of the scarf and merino for the icord edging (the purple part). The pattern is from Cat Bordhi's First Treasury of Magical Knitting. It knitted up fast fast fast and really shows off the colors in the handspun (albeit that's hard to see from the photo).

There are 4 weeks left in this term (three weeks of classes and then finals week) and I feel like I"m slogging through mud to get through them. I'm ready for a break.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Loooong weekend

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We spent the day painting our family room yesterday. The entire day...and it still isn't done. We ran out of paint just about the time the paint store closed, and have about a wall and a half left that need a second coat.

We spent much of the day wondering if the color was ok: it was too pink, then too purple, then I couldn't see any color in it at all. As it dried, it turned into a wonderful sand color (think the beach at a really good sunset). We like it. Which is good, since I really don't want to paint again.

Little knitting was done, but I did finish this square of the GAAA. And cast on for a moebius scarf with handspun, as I was contemplating on my previous posts. Hopefully I'll have more excitement to report later this week.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Goddess Retires

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I gave myself a gift of a knitting afternoon, and finished yet another oven mitt. And you know what? I'm done with oven mitts for a while. I like oven mitts. I look forward to giving the oven mitts for Christmas. But I've just done too many of them in a row.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I felted three oven mitts and their hot pad partners today...all are now drying. They look pretty good.

But for now, we say au revoir to oven mitts and bon soir to...hmmm. I think I'll cast on for a moebius scarf using my handspun merino tussah silk. It will be a nice break for a while (a long, long while)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oh Lucky Readers: Yet One More Oven Mitt

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I am an Oven Mitt Goddess.

This one knit up in one loooong day of coding video materials for my product placement research project. It is two colors of blue (striped) and I really like this one a lot. That makes, um, 4 completed? A black and red one is one the needles.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
What an awful photograph of this sock. Anyway, sock one is done...sock two is on the needles and will go wtih me to the gazillion meetings I have in the next two weeks.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My fourth square is going a bit slowly..I just can't get into a rhythm with the pattern. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with this.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I got tagged!

I finally feel like a *real* blogger as I now got tagged!

Thanks, Jenni!

The premise is: pick five!

If I could be a scientist?
If I could be a farmer?
If I could be a musician?
If I could be a doctor?
If I could be a painter?
If I could be a gardener?
If I could be a missionary?
If I could be a chef?
If I could be an architect?
If I could be a linguist?
If I could be a psychologist?
If I could be a librarian?
If I could be an athlete?
If I could be a lawyer?
If I could be an inn-keeper?
If I could be a professor?
If I could be a writer?
If I could be a llama-rider?
If I could be a bonnie pirate?
If I could be an astronaut?
If I could be a world famous blogger?
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world?
If I could be married to any current famous political figure?

If I could be a musician, I think I would be a back up singer to Annie Lennox.
If I could be an athlete, I would be either an equestrian or a fencer.
If I could be a professor....oops I am! But if I could do it again, I think I'd be an art history professor.
If I could be a librarian, I'd want to be a librarian at a private collection of a very wealthy person.
If I could be a writer, i'd write children's books.

I will now tag some of the people in the GAAA.

And now for something completely different!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Our good friends Jen and Steve (seen here) are about to become parents for the first time! We celebrated the baby's arrival yesterday with a fishy-themed shower (Jen and Steve are both scuba diveres, and the nursery has an 'under the sea' theme. Will the baby have webbed feet? Stay tuned).

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Jen and I agree that ice cream cakes from BR are the best...even when they don't fit into your freezer and your wonderful husband has to make the umpteenth errand run to buy a bag of ice to keep it cold for a few hours.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Instead of the usual cutesy shower games (that can be somewhat humiliating to the mom to be), we decided to get a bunch of plain baby clothes and fabric paints and let everyone creative one-of-a-kind outfits for the new addition. Megan and I painted hats reflecting the fishy theme.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Megan *says* she a web developer, but she's really an artist. All of her work was beautiful, but this one just really tickles me.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Steve's onesie placed the biohazard symbol in an appropriate location. I think he's a little freaked about the diaper thing.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim's onesie went for a more formal look.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Jen did this t-shirt, which we all wish we would have thought of first.

That's the highlights. We'll return to our regularly scheduled knitting blather tomorrow.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Thank you Secret Pal!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yesterday I wrote that I was really getting into socks. Imagine my surprise and delight when a package from my Secret Pal came with everything I need to make a pair of beaded socks! The pattern, Kroy sock yarn in a pale blue/grey, irridescent (sp?) beads, elastic thread, needles, point protectors, and stuff to protect your hands (um, lotion, but a cooler name than that). Anyway, I'm so excited!! So from the Willamette Valley of Oregon to somewhere in Winnipeg, Canada: THANK YOU!!!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I spun my first alpaca this past week, and here is a picture. The picture can't do justice to how incredibly soft this is.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yes, I knit too!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been a bit, um, lax on the pictures lately. But...here is what I've been up to. Here is another pre-felted oven mitt-destined-to-be-a-Christmas-gift, I know have one felted and two not felted, and feel somewhat on top of things. This one was done using Cascade 220 in gold and black for the main part of the mitt, and Lion Brand Landscapes for the cuff and thumb. Haven't felted with LBL but hey, I'm a devil may care kind of a knitter.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This sock-in-progress is for Tim, who really likes the one pair of socks I've made for him. I'm really sort of into socks lately, so I'm pleased to make another pair. This is done with some cotton I purchased at Ben Franklin for $2/ball. Love the Ben Franklin.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Hard to make out any details, but this is the start of the fourth square for my Afghan.

Let me take a moment to send out a big electronic *Thank You* to Christina C across the pond who is an incredibly kind and generous knitter. You may know her through KR as 'that free pattern maniac'. She's absolutely terrific. Thanks Christina!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Do You Listen to NPR?

If so, listen closely Monday morning during Morning Edition...you might hear my voice!

I was interviewed for a story on Title IX as a 'research methodology expert", commenting on a study the Dept. of Education is planning as part of their Title IX assessment.

I'll update this page if this changes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Random Musings

I didn't have much knitting time yesterday. I planned a good hour in the middle of the day, and had a little lawn mower adventure.

We bought a new lawn mower over the weekend: the cord that you pull to start the mower broke off and then got sucked into the guts of the mower. It was pretty much a mess of a mower anyway (if you want it come snatch it off our front lawn!). So, we bought an electric mower.

Now, please note that we have about 150 square feet of yard, so we're not talking about a huge mower need here. But...we haven't mowed all winter, and it is a bit, um, overgrown. Anyway, Tim did the first pass over the weekend and then we let it dry out. I went to take a second pass yesterday, and within seconds (seriously, seconds) mowed over the extension cord.


It doesn't end there. I found another extension cord but when I plugged that in, the mower didn't start. Turns out the outlet wasn't working. I flicked the circuit breaker, nope, nothing happened.

So when Tim came home we flipped all the circuits and still nothing. Tim takes off the cover of the plug looking to see if it had one of those gfi reset buttons..nope.

Finally, he had the idea to reset all the plugs in the house with gfis...even though none are near that outlet. And guess what, ..four hours after I started mowing, we found the plug with the gfi that needed resetting (in the guest bath, miles (ok yards) away from the plug. And then five minutes later (seriously) Tim was done mowing.

So that sort of messed up my day. I was so frazzled I screwed up my new square (not really true, I wasn't paying attention and thought I could do a 'difficult' square and I can't. So I frogged that and cast on for an easier square).

Such is my knitting life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm so Square!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the third square (the Selesnick square) over the weekend. I am pleased with this square, as I kept thinking I made mistakes on the lpc and rpc but it all worked out pretty well. Of course, just when I think I have a handle on the cables then I'm done with the square.

I even did a bit of reading off of charts...this is something I definitely need to get better at, and I'm hoping once I start on doing some color stuff it will all come together.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The oven mitt was done with Cascade 220 in sort of a salmon color as well as some inspirations yarn (handpainted)in sort of a sunset colorway. I'm suspecting that this one will go to my sister in law in Arizona, who has a southwest-style house.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Nothing much to say about a garter stitch pot holder.

I'm going to start on another oven mitt as well as a third square. The oven mitts go so fast I feel like I've really accomplished something.

I've been asked for the pattern for the quiver...um...it really is more of a mistake than a pattern. However, the wonderful Cat Bordhi has a downloadable quiver pattern at her webiste (www.catbordhi.com). I think hers has a flat bottom and mine sort of tapers into a point, which doesn't serve a great purpose but it was a go-for-broke attempt to be cool on my part.

The sheep was a fiber trends pattern, and I have an alpaca pattern and yarn for that too.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

All A-Quiver

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I felted the quiver (also known as the experimental moebius piece, see posting below for more details) and it turned out fine. It holds all my straight needles and looks nice, although I must admit that Brown Sheep handpaints look better 'mixed' with a solid color yarn than felted alone. Oh well. Live and learn.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The moebius bowl felted down to be very small and not as stiff as I would like it, but I still think it looks nice. If you have any suggestions on stiffening up felted work, let me know.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In other news, yesterday was my birthday and I had a really nice day...birthdays on weekends are much better than birthdays during the week. Tim brought me these beautiful flowers in a vase he made. He also gave me an iPod mini (yay) and took me to my favorite restaurant for dinner. We also took the dogs for a pretty hike in the arboreteum.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
These beautiful ones came from my Aunt Mary Jane.
She rocks.