Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Thinking about New Orleans

The first time I went to New Orleans, I didn't like it. Hot, dirty, crowded, loud.

The second (and last) time I went to New Orleans, I loved it. It was hot, but people glorified in the heat. It really wasn't dirty, just a little tawdry in places, but tawdry with a wink. It was crowded, but crowded with happy people. It was loud, but loud with music, and laughter, and more music, and more laughter.

Now, I can't even imagine it ever coming back. The news from Hurricane Katrina just keeps getting worse and worse. I can't even imagine how awful it will get before the water recedes.

Please think about helping out in whatever way you can. We donated to The Red Cross, and The Human Society , others are donating to the Salvation Army and other worthwhile charities. If you have another thought on what we can do, please feel free to post in my comments. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bobble Free Zone

hate this one
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished this square, blessedly, yesterday. I hated doing this square. Was it the fact that I don't like bobbles and there were two different bobbles in this pattern? Was it the oh-so-precious commentary written by the pattern designer? Was it the fact that I totally screwed up on the chart order? Who knows. I had 16 rows left and realized it was a square. And I could stop. So I did.

End of that story.

toe up sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In happier knitting news, I'm moving right along on the toe up sock. I love doing socks toe up. No stitches to pick up. No kitchener toes (but I've said this, haven't I?).

Monday, August 29, 2005

Social Studies

I'm a stay-at-home kind of a gal. Tim says I'm borderline agoraphobic because given the choice of going out and staying in, I'll pick staying in all the time. All the time. So this weekend was a bit of a challenge because we had not one but two social events to attend. Yee.

Saturday evening. Venue: Zanne and Al's backyard. Occasion: Zanne and Al's wedding.

Backstory: It was the second wedding for both Zanne and Al, two people I work with at the J school. They both have two daughters, and the six of them made a great family portrait, from Al's oldest daughter Ariel who is about six feet tall, to Al and Zanne, both in the 5'2-5'4 range, and Zanne's twin daughters who are teeny tiny.

Agoraphobic Factors: Fairly high. Small talk with colleagues and people I don't know. Hoping Tim has a good time.

Results: A good time was had by all. About 50 people joined the couple for the festivities; the j-school people were the 'cool crowd' and not the people who annoy me. We sat with a very fun group and I got to catch up with a lot of people I haven't seen for a few months. Plus, the broken collar bone is always good fodder for conversation.

Bottom line: OK. Going out isn't that bad at all.

Sunday afternoon/evening. Venue: Laurel Hill Park (2 doors down from us). Occasion: Laurel Hill Valley Neighborhood Picnic.

Backstory: the neighborhood Bigwigs throw this party every year. Usually, it rains. Or it has just rained. Or it threatens rains. This year, the Bigwigs threw it earlier, and the biggest problem was the wind, which was a precursor to threatening rain. We have a rocky relationship with BigWigs given changes in the neighborhood, but whatever.

Agoraphobic Factors: Minimal. Small talk with neighbors and people I don't know. Close escape route.

Results: Another good time was had by all. Caught up with neighbors that I haven't seen all summer (sensing a theme here?) and met some new neighbors who are friends of the aforementioned Zanne (no,not a small world, just a small town). May have gotten sucked into helping a neighbor run for governor, but maybe not.

Bottom line: OK. Going out is fine.

And how was your weekend?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Feeling Stooopid

If you are a knitter, this post will make perfect sense to you. If you're not, you'll have absolutely no idea what I"m talking about, so just skip down and read about my oven mitt. Thank you. Have a nice day.

OK. As you know, I'm doing squares from the Great american Aran Afghan book. Each square has a couple of charts, written directions for each row, and then this handy guide:

Stitch arrangement
| Chart D | Chart E | Chart C | ChartB | Chart A |
So basically you know what order to follow the charts.

Well. I've done, what, 8 squares, and I've read the stitch arrangement chart from left to right. I always wondered why they didn't re-label the charts so that 'A' came first. I also wondered why some of my squares didn't look like the picture on the pattern.

Last night it hit me: when you read a knitting chart (which I almost NEVER do, I usually follow the row-by-row written out instructions) you read the first row from Right to left, then the next row from left to right.

Following me?

So I've been reading all the stitch arrangement charts the wrong way.

I"m fine with it except I feel stupid. The squares are, well, unique. To me. I like it that way. It is just one of those secret things knitters are supposed to know and I didn't know it. Sheesh.

Friday, August 26, 2005

It is Hot again

two feet and a mitt
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We had a spell of pleasant weather and now we're back to hot (90F) days, which means I spend a lot of time knitting. The weather, and the fact that Cloud Atlas is sort of put-downable. Anyway, this is the final oven mitt for Christmas gifts. This is pre felted, of course, and uses up all the Lambs Pride Bulky in my stash. It has a matching red pot holder. That leaves one, count 'em, one pot holder that needs to be made and Christmas gifts are DONE.

another square
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I completed this square in something like four days, it was the most complex one I've made yet and I enjoyed doing it. It makes me feel that I can do any square in the book, even the ones done in the round (and I"m sure I"m cursing myself by saying that). So now I have something like 8 squares done, maybe?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sock news

rockin's socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished Tim's socks with Socks that Rock. This is really the first pattern I 'invented' and here it is: Cast on 60 stitches and work in K2P2 rib except for the second 10 stitches on the first needle (I do socks on 2 circs). This ten stitches should be:

P3, 2/2LC, P3

And the left cross is: slip two stitches to cable needle, knit 2, knit 2 from cable needle.

The foot is worked in the pattern stitch on the top 30 and in stockinette on the bottom 30.

Anyway...they look good. Contrasting toe and heel in Kroy. If you want more directions let me know.

little toe
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I know this doesn't look like much, but I learned how to do a 'toe up' sock yesterday. I used the Cat's Turned Toe method from the amazing Cat Bordhi's book "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles". It took two tries to get it right which isn't bad at all. I know there are other ways to do a toe up sock (some people just cast on 8 stitches, purl a row, and then stick the other needle through the cast on stitches) but this really created a nice toe. And: NO KITCHENER. Bonus.

I've started a new book: Cloud Atlas by David Somebodyorother....sort of an odd book (understatement alert) but interesting. Five or six separate stories that all have a common thread. I'm only on the second chapter but I'm sort of intrigued by it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Off Topic Cost of Health Care Rant

Well, not really a rant. Just a wake up call.

The bills have come in for the collar bone operation. I'm stunned. I was in the hospital a total of, what, 28 hours? The total cost of the operation will total about $18,000. About 12% will go to the surgeon, 8% to the anesthesiologist (sp??) and then the rest to the hospital. I know health care costs are high, but honestly. I'd love to see an itemized bill to see what everything costs...the dollar amount is absolutely amazing to me.

Thank goodness we have insurance...and now the plight of people without insurance is scarily real to me.

Monday, August 22, 2005

a fun weekend

another aran square
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We had a good weekend...errands and work around the house on Saturday (OK, not that fun) and a trip to the beach with the dogs on Sunday. They had a great time: they swam on the inlet side for a while since the tide was pretty strong, then we all took a walk on the beach.

The amazing thing about the Oregon coast is that it is always changing: we've been to the South Jetty at Florence two dozen times and it always looks different. And beautiful.

I spun for the first time in six weeks...and it wen OK, which was a nice thing.

Speaking of beautiful (how is THAT for a self-absorbed segue) I finished another aran square (ha HA! You didn't even know I was working on one, did you?). This one was a bit more complex than the other ones I've done, and I could point out the half dozen places where I crossed wrong. But it is still quite striking, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

@#$%!&* Sock

OK. Shouldn't the first sock be the pain in the butt sock and the second be a piece of cake?

Shouldn't it.

Not so much. Tim's new socks...the socks made with Socks that Rock which I *used* to really love....are a disaster. A disaster. I was going to frog the entire second one but with the voice of Fran (the font of wisdom at Knitters Review in my head, I dropped about a dozen stitches down and fixed them one at a time. The socks now look a bit lopsided-y but hopefully a good trip through the washer will help them.

This occured because for some unknown reason I just randomly pulled the circular needle out of an entire row of stitches. Not once. Not twice. Three times. Three different times.

Socks. Hrmph.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Fair-ly Good Day

award winning bag
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim and I headed over to the Lane County Fair yesterday evening to check on our entries...and we did pretty well: five entries, four ribbons. My market squares tote won a blue ribbon in the felted/fulled division, and it cracks me up how it was displayed with the blue ribbon sweater.

award winning jellyfish lamp
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim's jellyfish lamp won a blue ribbon in the lamp category. They found a hook to hang it on and the display is good.

award winning jerky
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In the hotly contested Adult Dried Meats category, Tim won a blue ribbon for his beef jerky.

award winning little jellyfish
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim's small jellyfish won a third place ribbon in the advanced sculpture category. Ignore the scarey creature thing in the bottom of the picture, that isn't Tim's.

loser hat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The big loser was my cabled is the maroon one in the bottom right hand corner. It has a cabled body and a knitted crown, and was up against a better-knit cabled hat (the yellow one) and two fair isle hats. It is sad that it didn't win but that's life at the fair.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

OK then.

I had big fun with Jen and Evan yesterday....Evan was a little on the cranky side and wasn't too crazy about being held by his Auntie Kim but it was great to catch up with Jen. Evan's socks (see below) fit, but just barely....he has big feet for a little guy!
We didn't try his hat on, Jen thought it would fit and as she said, he really doesn't need a hat when it is 90 degrees out.

So. Guess who my secret soul sister is? Madonna. Yes. That Madonna. To wit: the following article from the BBC:

Madonna hurt in fall from horse

Madonna was celebrating her birthday at her country house
Singer Madonna has ended up marking her 47th birthday with a trip to hospital after breaking several bones falling off a horse on her country estate.

She was taken to Salisbury District Hospital with three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hand, her spokeswoman said.

Madonna had been celebrating her birthday with her family at Ashcombe House, on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.

The singer was discharged at about 2200 BST, a hospital spokesman said.

The American star has previously said she and husband Guy Ritchie fell in love with their 1,200-acre estate.

She told American Vogue said she wears sensible shoes around the estate, goes hunting and fishing, rides horses and looks after her chickens.

Me again. Look at all that Madonna Louise Ciccione Richie have in common. Broken bones. Being 47. Sensible shoes. I could easily fall in love with a 1200 acre estate. And, I cook a mean chicken. I'd have to take a pass on the hunting, but my secret soul sister would understand. I'd go fishing with her though. I'd even let her clean it. Me and Madonna. Who knew?

Back to reality.

I finished the knitting part of Tim's mystery gift...hint hint. Now it needs a bit of finishing, and some felting. If you have a guess, leave it in the comment section! I'll let you know if you're right, and send you a pic.

We're off to the fair tonight to see how our entries did. We're excited and nervous. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Summertime....and the blogging is-

zebra stuff
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
-non existant.

I dont know what it is...everytime I sit down to blog I feel pretty uninspired. It's summer, after all...time for reading good books, knitting little things while lying on the couch, and, um, recovering from a broken collar bone.

Speaking of good books: finished the Michael Crichton one (page turning, but pretty empty) and read "the Wonder Spot" by Melissa Banks, who also wrote 'The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing" which I'll have to re-read because the Wonder Spot was so good (and not that The Girls Guide...isn't....I just don't remember much about it).

Which is to say, not much is going on in my life. Tim and I did a lot of little things this wekeend, but I'm still not at the 100% level. Getting there, though. Hopefully we'll have an adventure next weekend (if it isn't so bloody hot out).

I'm on my way over to Jen's to have lunch with Jen and Evan. And to give Evan the zebra accessories I lovingly made. I hope he doesn't notice that one sock is about two rows shorter than the other.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

little sock, big sock

little sock, big sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been spending much knitting time on the Tim Gift so I don't have a lot to show. The little sock is knitted in Opal Rainforest 'zebra', and I'm working on a hat made out of this also (and yes, there will be another sock.). The big sock is the one for Tim....the one made with Socks that Rock with a heel and toe from Kroy. These socks feel great.

I'm reading Michael Crichton's book "State of Fear" about eco terrorism...lots and lots of plot but not much charachter, which is fine for summer.

I'm feeling about 90%...the cough is almost gone, the shoulder feels a bit stiff but none of the scraping pain that I've felt before, and I'm looking forward to feeling full of energy again. We've had a little break in our hot-as-blazes summer weather and it is just delightful out.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Not much to report...

...since I've mostly been working on the Secret Gift for Tim. I'll have some pics tomorrow though. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Another Afghan Square...and more

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the fifth or sixth square (have to go double check) this afternoon. I got a bit bored with this square, since the pattern was pretty memorizable. I'm going to try a more involved one for my next one.

My secret surprise gift for Tim is going well. Here is a hint: intarsia. And it is not a sock or a sweater.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Where was I when Opal introduced the Rainforest Collection of Sock yarn?? Oh how I love this yarn...I bought three balls from Woodland Woolworks and they arrived today: Zebra, Tiger and Fish something. First up with this: zebra socks and hat for a little baby I know.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim picked out this sock yarn at the Black Sheep gathering, and I was a bit disappointed since it wasn't the most,um, dynamic yarn I've ever used. But let me tell ya, this sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts is like buttah to knit up. Like buttah! The colorway is Mica. I 'designed' this sock myself (it's basically a ribbed sock with a left cross cable down the middle of the front).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

What to Start?

I can't figure out what project to start next. And the thing that is keeping me from moving forward is:

I don't feel like winding skeins into balls.

Hmm. Someone needs a ball winder and a swift.

Update: sucked it up and wound two balls of Cascade 220 into balls to start a christmas gift for Tim. Since he reads this blog, I won't say what it is, but it involves three colors of wool.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm too Soxy

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finally finished the Feather and Fan socks...had most of sock 2 done before Costa Rica but I had to kitchener the toe and then do the peasant heals on both. I like the look of peassant heels to the very end...then it looks a little pouchy.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
These socks, I guess, are officially the 'Costa Rica' socks...I did about two inches in CR on one of the socks and then finished them off last night. Both socks came from one skein of Magic stripes, so I was careful to get the pattern repeat in the right place. Notice on the peasant heel, though, that one sock has a thin dark blue stripe and the other has a thin red stripe. I wish I could say I planned this, but I didn't. It is a nice bit of knitting serendipity!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Heels and Healing

First the healing: had a followup visit with Dr. Sheerin yesterday and saw 'film' (as the bone docs say) of my collarbone. It is all lined up and looks good...the stitches are out, the sling is now optional, and now it just takes time for the bone to grow. I have another followup in 4 weeks to hopefully see signs of bone, and then hopefully this will all be behind us.

Now the heels: as much as I love socks, I am not good (NOT GOOD) at heels. With the traditional 'flap' heel, I mess up on the picking up of the stitches. I've been doing peasant heels on the last couple pairs of socks (just finished the body of the second stripey sock last night) and I screw up on the 'placing the stitches on the needle' part. Anyway. I guess I should just get used to the fact that my sock heels need a bit more TLC after the fact (ie stitches to close up the holes) then I would like. Such is life.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Rabbit Rabbit...

four fish
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
..or rather, Fish Fish Fish Fish.

Happy August 1st. Pretty much the 'halfway' point of summer for those of us who teach on the quarter system..the summer is going so fast with all my collarbone brewhaha. I go back to the doctor today to (hopefully) get the stitches out and see what the next step is.

Finished a fourth fish over the weekend...I think three more fish and then this will be ready to put together. This is fun to knit (mostly because it is such big yarn) and should be fun to put together.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I also started on this (fifth? sixth?) square of the Aran Afghan. Haven't worked on this for EONS and I like getting back into it (although,in typical me fashion, I had to frog about four rows after I messed up the beginning. Seriously, I've messed up the beginning of every square I've done).

Spent much of the weekend relaxing and hanging with Tim and animals, trying to get rid of the (still hanging on) cough and staying cool in the Oregon heat.