Friday, September 30, 2005

Sad Sock Story

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Tim brought this into me yesterday...for some reason, the toe has started to unknit itself. I have NO idea why this is happening, and I was pretty frustrated until I sat down with my handy dandy crochet hook and realized I could at least hold it together.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This pic is horrible but I did get the sock into wearable shape. Tim mentioned the sock seemed a little snugin the toe area...could he have just burst through?

tiger sock 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Except for the heel, the first tiger sock is done. I'll take the second one to Reno and see if I can get a good deal of that one done too. These socks are adorable.

I tried on the vest yesterday and I think it will fit all right. The body up to the armholes is done as is the back, and so all I have is the front (which will have cables around the neckline). Anyway. I'll work on that when I get back and post pics for you to see!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Things going on, in no particular order

-the vest is progressing, although as I was working on the back last night I got a sinking feeling it was too big. Oh well.

-I have to make a quick trip to Reno (doesn't that sound sort of sleazy?). I'm on the Exec. Committee for an academic organization and we have an all-day meeting on Saturday in Reno. The biggest issue, of course,is what to take to knit. I guess I'll move the second of the tiger socks onto bamboo needles and take that.

-I'll post some pics before I head out.

-The first week of school is always crazy, for whatever reasons.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to School...for Real

Today is my official first day at school--class at 10. Even though this is my 12th year teaching, I still get very nervous the night before fall classes begin. What will I say? Will they like me (although I'm trying to get past that)? Will they think I'm a good teacher? Anyway...last night neither Tim nor I slept well. I hope today goes better.

I've read some good books lately. I went through most of the Sarah Vowell Oeuvre: I think I posted before about Assassination Vacation but I just read Pass the Canoli and The Party Cloudy Patriot. Good stuff although too much at one time (you know....three books by the same author and some of the same ideas start to float to the top). I also read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and it was absolutely transcendent. The novel encapsulated many things I'm going through in my life right now, so I definitely appreciated it.

I finished the first tiger sock (minus heel) and will wait to do the second sock on my travels to Reno this weekend (exec board meeting. In Reno. Lordy). I keep knitting on the vest but it doesn't seem to want to progress much.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

That pesky little gap!

happy toe ups
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the toe ups for Tim and here they are happily living on his feet. As you notice, though (or maybe you didn't) there's still a little gap where the heel transitions to the leg. Oof. I keep trying to close this up when I knit but I still don't get it. If you have suggestions let me know. Hopefully, the 'bloom' of the yarn from washing will help minimize this. Who knows. There's always the solution of a little piece of yarn tied in a knot to close it together.

midwest moonlight
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been working on this scarf on-and-off for about a week now. It is the 'midwest moonlight' pattern from Scarf Style. I chose a pretty vibrant Fleece Artist yarn for this, and 'midwest oil refinery fire' might be a more appropriate name.

This scarf is likely to take forever. First of all, I have about 800 yards of the yarn and I want to use it all. Next, it takes about an hour to do the sixteen rows of the pattern. The sixteen rows progress me about 2 inches. So, if I want a 70 inch scarf, it will take a total of 35 hours. And that is if I don't have to frog a row here and there, which I will have to do, since it is lace. And all.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Outcomes of a 6-Hour faculty meeting

tiger foot
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Lucky me: six hours in a conference room with the loony bin known as the Journalism Faculty. What's a girl to do? Well, lookie how far I got on the tiget sock. It is part of the opal rainforest collection...and I love it. The socks will have black toes and black afterthought heels. And they're for Tim, and he already loves them.

I wish the rest of the faculty meeting could have been as productive.

vest part one
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's the first look at the vest I'm designing. If you look closely, you can see yellow ring markers on the needle and the plait cable in between the markers. So far, so good. I love the feel of this yarn and the colorway looks good.

While the weather is supposed to be delightfully fallish this weekend here, it will not be so nice other places. My friend Helen and her husband Danny have boarded up their windows in Houston and will ride out the storm. Please hold a good thought for them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My First Design

That's not a scarf.

I'm making a vest with a plait cable up the center, then splitting to little plait cables around the vneck. I'm using some malabrigo in a colorway called red java, it is sort of a deep reddish brown with a little bit of variegatin, at times almost to a brownish pink and it looks great. The yarn, that is. The vest, itself, can't tell yet since I only have three rows of ribbing done.

It will be knit in the round til the armholes, so only the shoulder seems (10 stitches each) to sew.

If it works and looks good, I might design a men's version too.

Say tuned!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Spinning stuff

tibetan dreams
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Bad title, I know. Sorry. It is still early.

I have been spinning more lately, and enjoying it quite a bit. I purchased a bunch of fiber from Crown Mountain Farms This first bunch is in a colorway called "Tibetan Dreams" and was spun from Corriedale Pencil Roving (nice to spin). This will be part of the final gift for my KR Secret Pal. It sort of reminds me of peanut butter and jelly. In a good way.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This colorway is called 'merlot', and is a merino/tencel blend that feels absolutely wonderful. I spun this using my new high speed flyer, which makes a much thinner yarn. This feels great. I only purchased two ounces of fiber and this is half of it spun...a bit pricey but very pretty.

socks in progress
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This is a horrible picture of the two socks on two circs. This is in Mountain Colors Bearfoot, my favorite sock yarn...and these are a joy to work on. The colors are beautiful and these socks are so cozy. Luckily I have enough yarn to make a pair (or four) for me too.

Other than that, a pretty mellow weekend.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Today's Lessons

1. Socks do not good blogging make.

I've spent the last day trying to get the feet of the toe-ups to the heel turn, since the weekend is here and I'll have time to concentrate on them. The good news is: I"m there. The bad news is: not much else to say about that.

2. Two socks on two circs has downsides.

Working on two socks at once makes sock progression much, much slower than one at a time (what a surprise! Who knew??). Additionally, I get the needles confused sometimes and end up with two socks on one needle, 1 1/2 socks on one needle and 1/2 a sock on the other needle, and affiliated messes that take me a while to straighten out. That hasn't happened when just doing one sock (oh of course, I've had times where one sock has ended up on one needle, but that's easy to fix).

3. Knitting messes look better the next day.

I tried on the vest (below) yesterday and it looks a little better...not the total mess I thought it was. I think I found an easy fix that will make me happy with the vest.

4. Designing in your head is easier than designing on paper.

I want to do a vest in the round with a cable panel down the front splitting at the vneck In the round. I just have to plot it out so it isn't a disaster. That's a slow process.

5. Vests are 'in' with me.

I don't care what fashion says. I refuse to do sleeves again. Well, until I do the blackberry from

Thursday, September 15, 2005

So that's why the model had a big-collared shirt on!

looks ok..
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the boogie vest from today (no linking to the pattern,since I don't think this should ever be made again). I followed the instructions exactly, spent too much time doing the &^$%#( seams (ended up backstitching, I cannot cannot cannot do mattress stich thank you very much) and then tried it on.

It looked, um, odd.

Why? Because there is no shaping at all at the collar. See if this close up helps you see what I"m talking about.

..til you see it up close
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
OK. So the top just ends. I divided down the middle for a v-neck effect with about 4 or so inches left to go, then you knit half of one side, bind off half of one side, bind off half of the second side, then knit the second half. So the 'outside' half of the front matches the back of the vest shaping. And the 'bound off' part just, um, sits there.

The pattern says to do a cable chain around the collar but this would just add to the oddness. The reason I didn't notice it originally was that the model in the pattern had a big collared shirt that obfuscated the entire top of the vest.

So. Do I buy a big collar shirt? Or is there some way to finish this off so the front becomes a bit more v-necky and less dorky looking?

I mean honestly, I would have liked it better as crew neck with a cable up the middle. Hmm. I could sew up the center seam and do that. That's an option.

Anyway. If you have suggestions please please let me know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Little by little... is pulling me back in.

One of the best things about universities on the West Coast is that we're on the 'quarter' system, and our first quarter doesn't start until the last Monday in September. However, little things keeps pulling me back to start the new school year (yesterday it was mail. Lots of mail). So I can sense the transition from being me-focused to being them-focused as the new school year looms.

Ugh. Don't wanna go.

Anyway. Did a bit on all the projects yesterday and I think I'll try to focus on the vest-may-be-a-sweater today. That is, after I get a crown (ugh. ugh). Even though I love my dentist the idea of two hours in the chair does not excite me.

Hope your day is better.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What's Going On

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I have three fairly new projects in the works, and they're all sort of 'longer' projects as opposed to the aran squares and fished I've been working on. I have some beautiful yarns from Mario at handpainted yarn dot com in my stash--and figured I had enough for the Boogie Vest from knitty. I had five skeins and figure it would take four. Well, it looks like it will take two--so I might pick up stitches and knit arms and make it a sweater. But then I might not...we'll see.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The color of the yarn is called chrysanthemum, and is a mix of reds, oranges and is really pretty. It might be toooo much, though, as a sweater (considering I"m generally a black sweater gal) but we'll see. This yarn is oh so soft. I might make it a short sleeve sweater--it might be great like that on its own.

two toes
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I started another pair of socks...going for two toe ups at one time. I tried the instructions on knitpicks for about two hours...but it just didn't take. So I started these socks one at a time with the figure eight method. Then I've been knitting them in the round two at a time. The yarn is awesome...mountain colors bearfoot...and I have lots of this yarn so after I make a pair for Tim I'll make a pair for me.

I've also started the Midwest Moonlight scarf from Scarf Style in Blue Faced Leicester from Fleece Artist which I love. as soon as it reaches a critical mass I'll post a picture of that too.

And just an aside: you know you're old when the only person you recognize on the 'Celebrity' ad for the Red Cross is Don Johnson. And you think he looks bad. Who are the rest of those people?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Dinner Guests

evan sez hiya
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We hosted Evan's first dinner party last night, and the guest of honor was in full diva (divo?) mode, as he changed his outfit during the course of the festivities and was the center of attention for the entire evening.

He is such a good little guy, and is very patient with Aunt Kim and Uncle Tim, and ignored our lack of baby skills very politely.

not sure about the dogs
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Steve and Jen came too, of course, and it was great to see and spend time with them. Cody and Shasta also had some quality time with Evan, although he wasn't too sure of them, and they were interested mostly in the smells he gave off.

I have three projects newly started, which I'll post for you tomorrow.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Can you guess what this is?

scared to touch this
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It's beautiful, isn't it (no I didn't make it)?

It is silk. Dyed silk hankies, to be exact. According to my fantastic KR Secret Pal, I can knit this silk hanky into a scarf. It looks a bit complex yet absolutely fascinating. I must admit I"m a little scared of a pattern that begins "find a quiet place" but I'll give this a try. Thanks Secret Pal. You are so creative!

number 11
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Behold the eleventh square, which combines cables and lace. Totally messed with my head. I could point out all the erros in this but never mind. Next.

first toe-ups
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished my first pair of toe-up socks and this continues to be my favorite methods of socking. No kitchener. No picking up of stitches. Who could ask for anything more??

I'm going to do a pair for Tim with Mountain Colors Bearfoot next, trying to KnitPicks method of two socks toe up on two circs. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wind me Up!

somebody's got a ball winder
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yep. I got me a ball winder and a swift. I can't begin to tell you how much easier these two things can make a knitter's life. I bought them both can get the Royal ball winder from a number of sources, and I got a swift from a woodworker in Washington (will post his info when I find his card). It was very reasonably priced, which is kind of rare for a swift. Anyway...the two 'cakes' at the top are 800+ yards of Fleece Artist (wound in like three minutes) and the middle one is a skein of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, one of three I'll use for my Clapotis.

I've had the 'what do I do' blues for a few days. I started on the Midwest Moonlight Scarf using the above Fleece Artist (blue leicestershire) which I like. I'm also working on square 11 which I'm totally messing up, and finishing up the toe up socks.
The new Knitty magazine has a couple great sweaters, includng the Blackberry, which I really like...I might use my stash of Handpainted Yarns from Mario to do that sweater (if I have enough) (which I don't know if I do).


fish for days
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here are all the little fishes laid out in the hallway. I'll sew them together and then do some kind of decorative edging (I'd like to do a little cable but I'm thinking maybe a two color attached icord could be fun too). At the top of the fish is Jessie Cat who is unsure about all the fish in her hallway.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lace Haters Anonymous

I have a bunch of lace weight yarn in my stash. I've probably spent $30 on lace patterns. But, as I reminded myself today, I just can't do lace.

I bought some really pretty Crystal Palace Kid Merino, and thought I'd try a lace scarf. Bad idea. No matter what...I end up with the wrong number of stitches. I know it isn't the little needles, since I'm fine with socks. I've done lace using worsted weight yarn, so I know that technically I can do lace. I think it is just the thin thin thin yarn that screws me up. Sock yarn is substantial, in its way. Lace yarn isn't.

So, what is a knitter to do? Sell the lace from the stash? Gift it to someone (which sounds like the best idea to me)? Hmm hmm hmm. I guess I could try some patterns holding two srands together, but not sure if that would work for me. I think lace and I just don't mix.

Suggestions welcome. And if you want to buy some Zephyr, let me know.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Road Trip!

tim and mt. washington
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We took off on a little road trip yesterday...travelling to Central Oregon to visit the little town of Sisters that used to be a cute little sort-of-artsy-sort-of-touristy town. It is about a two-hour drive from here, Well, I haven't been there for a year or two, and it has really developed into a fake 'cowboy' town with lots of cowboy themed shops. It has lost most of its charm, which is sad. A bit of good knitting news, though--a great quilt shop, The Stitchin' Post, now sells yarn (although they have the annoying practice of grouping all the yarns by color). Anyway, we drove up on Highway 20 and drove home on the Old McKenzie Highway, where we stopped and I took this picture of Tim and Mt. Washington.

proxy falls
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We stopped and did a little hike at Proxy Falls, a nice little loop trail on the Old McKenzie Highway. The dogs truly appreciated the chance to get out and stretch their legs and meet some new people on the trail. This late in the summer, the falls are a little low and not as impressive as they are in the spring, but this is still a nice hike and a good way to end our day.

blue fish
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
AND--I knit not one, not two but three fish: two blues one (one is shown here) and the last pinkypurly one. Now I need to block and assemble and do an edge on the quilt, and voila, another Christmas present done. I'll post a pic of the complete fishiness in the next day or so.

Friday, September 02, 2005

My Favorite Square

love this square
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've completed ten squares (I think...halfway through woohoo) and this one is definitely, DEFINITELY my favorite. It was fun to knit...First I knit the outside 'frame' and then picked up stitches to fill in the center. Kitchener to close the frame and also the center cross. It was fun to work, and I really like how it looks, so different.

So that's what I have been up to.

It is a long weekend. Tim has just found out he has to work at least part of it. I'm bummed, and not taking it too well, so I'll have to make myself be better and more supportive about isn't his fault. I just miss him so much when he has to work.