Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bad Hare Night

anne sox
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
. Anytime you frog more than you knit is not good. And when your bunny is sick, it is even worse.

But first the good news. I finished the socks made out of Schaeffer Anne. And even better news...the total weight of both socks was 46 grams, and I have about 70 grams left. Yes. More socks. I'll do the next pair on a smaller pair of needles, though.

So. The bad night. Tim was at his 'photographing artwork' class so I thought I'd hunker down with Clapotis and the new socks I'm making for Tim. But. Louise, the rabbit (scroll down a bit to see her in all her rabbit cuteness), did not eat dinner. Not a big deal, you might be thinking, but if rabbits don't eat for 12 hours, their little systems can shut down leading to death. And since I had been at work all day, I really had no idea what time she had last eaten. Her ears were also a bit cool, which isn't bad itself but it can be a symptom of dehydration.

So, instead of knitting, I ran out to the grocery store to get her favorite food (banana) to tempt her into eating. I tried carrots. I tried petromalt (not a good thing for her, but she likes it). She didn't want any of it. I spent about half an hour massaging her abdomen to try to get any blockage moving. I force-fed her some water to keep her from getting dehydrated.

Anytime I sat down to knit, I thought of something else i wanted to try for Louise, you know how that goes. I just wasn't concentrating, and ended up frogging everything I actually knit..

The good news is that this morning she had eaten her salad, her banana, her carrots,her pellets, her petromalt, 1/3 of her water bottle, and was ready for more. Litter box activity was odd but at least stuff has been moving through. She had a salad and some banana for breakfast and seems back to normal, giving me the 'what's up with you' quizzical look that she does so sweetly.

And her ears? Toasty, toasty warm. I guess she had what others call a 'bad hare day'. But now she's fine. Hooray!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Since Valentine's Day is coming...

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...you might be interested in visiting the
Acme Candy Heart Generator


2/3 of a Clapotis

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It probably wasn't the best idea to take a picture of my clappy on the sofa, with the stripes and all.

Oh well.

I'm about 2/3 done. You can see the drop stitch pattern on the right side of the clappy. I really like this pattern (as you know).

Other news? Yesterday was a day of errands. Much of it was spent packing up my Kiwi and shipping it off to its new home in Antioch, Illinois. A KRer named Samantha was posting that she lost an ebay auction on a Louet so I emailed her asking if she was interested in the Kiwi. Several exchanges later, we had agreed on a price and checked out shippping options. So there ya go! The wonder of the Internet!

We watched about 2/3 of a movie, Junebug, that wasn't that good. It has received very good reviews but my theory is that once you've lived in the South, eccentric southerners just aren't that charming any more.

So I guess 2/3 is the theme of this post. Did you get 2/3 of anything accomplished?

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We've been chatting about bunnies at KR today, so I thought I'd post a pic of Louise. She's a mini-Lop that we've had for about 6 and a half years.....she is a very funny and entertaining bunny who can still be feisty when she wants to be. When she's in a mood...watch out!

And no, I can't spin her fur...it's too short.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Busy Week Redux

Friday! FRIDAY!!!!

Don't you love Fridays??

It has been a busy week, with little knitting time but lots accomplished.

Do you watch Project Runway? If not, you should, it is a terrific show with drama, comedy, suspense, intrigue, sex (half naked models); all in all, just about the perfect show.

But here is my question: are the Loreal Make up Room and the Tres Semme Hair salon the same place? Inquiring minds want to know. Maybe I'll ask Tim Gunn.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another Sock!

anne sock 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I tore myself away from Clappy to finish this sock. This one is out of Schaeffer Anne. I also cast on for number two.

I think I'm up to 8 repeats of the Clappy, and almost done with ball 2. Must. Knit. Clappy.

Have also been struggling with our income taxes. Ugh. School is nuts with meetings every day in addition to teaching classes. For some reason my students (and other's students, too) are just NOT with the program this term.

Hope things are calmer where you are.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's True

Clapotis is addictive.

I have six repeats done. All I want to do is get to row 8 (you Clappy gals know what's coming) and DROP THAT STITCH.

I'm probably halfway done (well, clearly, with six repeats I am, but you know, using my scientific yarn weight calculation).

And a question:

I'm knitting socks with Schaeffer Anne, and while I love this yarn, WHY do they sell it in 560 yard hanks? No way I'm going to use that much on my socks. then I'll have a bit left over. To do what with? This annoys me a bit about the yarn biz. But that's another post.

Clap on!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Things to do when it is NOT RAINING!

Yesterday, Sunday January 22, we had a blessedly rain free and almost sun-drenched day in Oregon. This was the first really rain free day (all day) that we've had since around Christmastime (I KID YOU NOT) and while I've seen evidence of the sun maybe three times since Christmas, yesterday was the first day that you could truly believe that it might (read: might) actually stop raining here one day.

So. What to do:

  • Go to the grocery store and exit from the parking lot the normal way, which for the past week has been tricky since the street next to the grocery store has been flooded. When you don't leave the 'normal' way, your exit takes you behind the bowels of the grocery, through an alley by a swimsuit store, around the pasta manufacturer, and out via the street where no one pays attention to people enterting the street.
  • Clear the guck out of the gutters (Tim did this, actually). And throw moss off the roof. Repeat.
  • Put the new dog bed covers on the outside dog beds. The old ones are not only faded and ripped, they are saturated with water beyond belief.
  • Walk said dogs. We allowed them to smell excessively since they haven't been for a walk in yonks.
  • After smelling varous parts of the car that lives outside, conclude that the smell is just damp. Just plain damp.

While this might not sound like an exciting day for you, it was for us (ok maybe not exciting, just pleasant) since we could do all these things WITHOUT RAIN! WITHOUT RAIN!

This morning I went out to get the paper and I could

  • See the moon (the MOON! Who knew?)
  • See a PLANET by the MOON. Nature! So cool!

As you can see, we are a bit tired of the rain here in the Northwet.

On another topic: thanks so much for the book suggestions (see below). Lots of good ideas! Keep 'em coming!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good book needed

MWF seeks sort of but not too heavy book (in terms of content).

I just can't find a good book lately. I started "Veronica" by Mary Gaitskill, and put it down immediately. THen I got half way through "Lost in the Forest" by Sue Miller and couldn't think of a single reason to keep reading it. Now I'm reading the first chapter (for the third time) of "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by the author of The Domesday Book (can't think of her name now). It's not bad, it just is not that great.

And oh, there's always Middlemarch, but it is just so DAUNTING.

Suggestions please.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Clappy Calculations

Anne Sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Encouraged that I'm not a total nerd, here is how I figured out yarn allocation for my clapotis.

I only bought 3 skeins of Lion and Lamb, and bought them a year ago. Since then, I've read several places that three skeins are not enough. So, I thought I'd preempt the problem and measure the weight of the ball of the L+L as I progressed, figuring that:

Sections 1+2 should account for 20% of the total yarn
Section 3 should account for 60% of the total yarn
Sections 4+5 should account for 20% of the total yarn

So this means of a total of 300 grams of L+L, 60 grams should be spent on each of the 'end' sections and the rest go in the middle.

So, as I knit section 2, at the end of every 12 row repeat I measured how much was left in the ball (we have a tiny scale for weighing our bird, which does grams and ounced). After 5 repeats, i had 50 grams left on the ball (so I'd knit 50 grams). At that point, I did the first 6 rows of the repeat and then moved on to section 3.

So, there you go.

Nerd mode off.

Here's a pretty sock that I"m doing too (Schaeffer Anne, a lovely yarn) just to balance the nerdiness with some beauty.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Clap On! Clap Off! Clapotis!

clapotis #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I started my clapotis, which is looking quite a bit like Leanne's . My goal is to have this completed to wear to Stitche's West in a month or so. It is a pretty fun knit, and I did drop my first stitch (on purpose) today and that was scarey and empowering all at the same time. I'm making it a bit narrower since I've read various places that three balls of Lion and Lamb isn't enough for the pattern as written...so i did some math (Tim helped) and figured out how much of a bal lI could use on each section and well I'll stop now because this sounds like the nerdiest post ever written.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


So my New Year's resolution is a bit late.


Amie is keeping a running tally of socks knit during 2006 (two thousand sox, get it?) with the goal of reaching 2000 by the end of the year. No real good reason, really, just because it is sort of fun to watch the number grow. As a dedicated sock knitter (I finished Tim's magic stripes pair last night, AND cast on for my first pair made with Schaeffer Anne) I of course will participate in the Year of the Sock.

But I sorta wanted more.

So I decided that, for every sock I knit this year, I'll give a $1 to Heifer International . This organization gives livestock to people who need it...to make a living, to make a life. Clara at KNitters Review organizes a holiday donation every year, and DH and I give to this organization also (ask my SIL Candace who was the recipient of 1/10 of a cow for Christmas this year!). So I thought I'd start a tally of my socks and will give the total amount to Heifer International at the end of the year.

How about you? If you're commemorating your knitting in some way, think about perhaps giving to others too. There are lots of charity opportunities (check out Leanne's Blog for some information on a great kid's charity opportunity (but do it fastfastfast). The Yarn Harlot encouraged donations to MSF (Doctors without Borders) after the Tsunami last year. A little bit can help to a lot of organizations.

OK, off my soapbox now. Have a good day, sock on!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quick post

A bit busy at the moment, and am having some insomnia, so just a quick update.

-Sad about the Colts, happy for the Broncos
-Clapotis is coming slowly along
-Stella is now two weeks seizure-free, she's doing pretty well
-Second sock is almost done
-I have a sock in my purse with no progress, and will cast on using Schaeffer Anne when the 'magic stripes' is done
-Sleep is good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

15 1/2 Afghan squares

square grr
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the 'middle' of this square, which is completed by attaching a border of a simple eight-row eight stitch cable pattern.

Let me pause to insert that yes, I know this 'middle' looks like a plate of wiggly worms, and it didn't turn out near as nice as the picture in the book. Whatever.

Anyway. I spend several hours working on the border. The instructions read to repeat the eight-row pattern seven times, then follow the instructions for the mitered corner (which I did fine, thank you). In my numerical-dyslexic-don't-do-complex=things-right-now frame of mind, I repeated the pattern nine times.

For half of the entire border.

So yes, it had to be frogged. And then I put the whole thing away under the bed, to be looked at again maybe in March.

sock one
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In happier knitting news, though, this sock for Tim knit up very quickly. I went up a needle size from my normal size (which is what, a 1 or a 2) and it looks good and (I repeat) went fast. I'm at the heel turn for the second sock so I'm a happy girl with these.

And I started on...finally...clapotis!!! I'm using Lion and Lamb from Lorna's Laces that has been in the stash for almost a year. So far, so good with this one.

little knits stash
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And in still happy news, I received my first order from Little Knits . Lickety split. It's a skein of Schaeffer Anne, which is all the talk at KR, and two skeins of Lorna's Laces safari which is for socks for Tim (a bit silky, but maybe good for spring for him). This is a terrific store with fabulous prices. Love them!

And in even better news, we had an entire day without rain yesterday. But it is back today.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Long Road to Torino

Today marks about the bazillionth day of rain here in Pacific Northwest, we took a break from building the ark and went out looking for something to ease the pain of cabin fever.

We went ice skating.

We haven't been for several years...in fact, portions of our skate boots were rusted from living in the wet garage (and lack of use). I also haven't done anything active other than walk since I broke my collarbone. But there we were....two grey haired grown ups skating around the Lane County Ice Rink in the company of about half a dozen birthday parties for 6-year-old girls and about 40 International students from the UO who have never been on skates before.

It was fun. I usually get a little annoyed at the rink: people not looking where they're going, skating the wrong way and (my big pet peeve) blocking the entrance/exit to the rink (in order to take pictures, talk to friends, etc). (There are only two openings to the rink, and only one person can use it at a time. When Grandma blocks it to take pictures of little Bitsy her first time at the rink, well, things get a bit backed up).
But today I maintained my good mood and we had fun. And the promise of beer and Kobe burgers after didn't hurt.

I bought some beautiful yarns from Little Knits and if you're looking for an online lys I can't recommend Sue enough. Pics tomorrow, along with a sock.

Friday, January 13, 2006


My apologies for the lack of posts this week. It is back to school, and my schedule is a bit more hectic than usual (lots of academic 'service' stuff going on for the first 5 weeks or so of the term). My usual start-of-term anxiety has increased to the point where I haven't been sleeping well, so I look at it this way:

work+nosleep=nothing interesting to say

I have been knitting mostly on a sock for Tim made of Magic Stripes, and it is almost done. It is sort of amazing how going up from a needle size 1 to 2 can make the sock go by a lot faster.

I've done a bit of work on the 16th afghan square but that one will probably be the last one for a while, since I really can't concentrate well on those. I want to start knitting felted clogs (christmas 06 gifts?) and also want to do some cabled purses. Theme: small, manageable things.

I have been carrying a sock around in my purse and actually grabbed fifteen minutes yesterday, shut my door, and knit on the socks. It is Lorna's Laces i think...I've never knit wtih it...quite a bit of a different experience than Magic Stripes!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Two New Favorite Blogs

I'd like to draw your attention to two places that are becoming daily 'must visits' for me:

You Knit What?
Each day a really ugly knitted garment is posted with snarky description and even snarkier commentary from the
blogging world. I need a daily bit of snarkiness. This is perfect.

Blogging Project Runway
I love the Bravo Tv Show Project Runway. I love to listen to Tim Gunn's podcast and read his blog at the Bravo Tv web site.
But this blog is for US, the viewers...where we can comment and link and discuss ad infinitum. Love it. Kudos!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Diary of a Design

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My dream (well, one of 'em anyway) is to publish a wonderfully innovative knitting pattern that will take the knitting world by storm.

So, given the popularity of 'cozies' (tea cozy, iPod cozy, cell phone cozy) I got an idea about a cozy to make. It begins with two triangles and one circle, knitted out of Berroco Hip Hop.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Step two. Sew the rectangles together: for one seam, sew about two inches from the top and two inches from the botton. For the other seam, sew the entire seam EXCEPT for two inches at the top.

Then sew the circle to the top of the tube. Add a jaunty icord knot at the top.

Then felt!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And voila! You have the Fantastic Sheehan French Press Cozy.

The part with the two inch (prefelted) openeing at the top? That's where the spout goes. The big opening on the other side? That's where the handle goes.

There is a slight design flaw, in that once it is felted it is really a struggle to get it over the french press (on the handle side). However, this can be fixed by opening up the bottom two inch (pre felt) seam on the handle side.

So there you go. What do you think?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

St. Distaff's Day!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
St. Distaff's Day; Or, the Morrow after Twelfth-day

Partly work and partly play
You must on St. Distaffs Day:
From the plough soon free your team;
Then cane home and fother them:
If the maids a-spinning go,
Burn the flax and fire the tow.
Bring in pails of water then,
Let the maids bewash the men.
Give St. Distaff' all the right:
Then bid Christmas sport good night,
And next morrow every one
To his own vocation.'

In honor of St. Distaff's day, I spun this wool/alpaca for the KR spinning exchange. I handled the alpaca better this time.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished these socks from the KR sock round robin, thanks Minh!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I also finished the 15th square of the Aran Afghan. More importantly, I think I finally got a good picture of one of the squares. I hate bobbins, but oh well. The tree motif is pretty. And...I did this OFF A CHART and DID NOT READ THE WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS! This is a big, big, big accomplishment for me.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Winding Down/Gearing Up

Vacation is almost over, as classes resume next week, and it will be a very hectic January/February for me. I'll look forward to the relative calm of spring.

In retrospect, I read a lot, knit a lot, spent time with the love of my life, and didn't resort to making Frozen Pot Pies for dinner until last night. So it must have been a pretty good break.

I've finished my foray in to the "Outlander" series by zipping through "Dragonfly in Amber". The characters are no longer under my skin. How those books manage to go on for a gazillion pages is beyond me.

I also read the book "Truth and Consequences" by Alison Lurie. She tends to write novels about small private school college campuses in the Northeast. Her characters (faculty and students) have affairs, attend cocktail and dinner parties, and generally do little teaching or research. Maybe because I've spent time at larger universities, but I've never encountered any of the people she writes about. Am I missing something?

I started on Middlemarch. It is also a gazillion pages long but oh well. At least it isn't written in dialect.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Spun Fun

fleece artist evil
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been doing a bit of spinning and, for the most part, loving it. I thought I'd post some of my handspun and regale you with a horror story.

This morning, I sat down to spun my prized fleece...some fleece artist roving that I bought on eBay 3-4 months ago. I was waiting til I was a halfway decent spinner to spin it. And guess what?

As I sat down to spin, I noticed that there was a huge matted glob in the roving. So I pre-drafted and pre-drafted and tugged and pulled but all told, about 1/5 of the roving was unworkable. I was so dissapointed! Someone at KR said that it could felt on its own, just by existing. My guess is that it came felted and I didn't check it closely when it arrived. Ah well. Live and learn. Anyway, the good news is that I matched up the colors on the plies pretty well ( a first for me) and my two bobbins were almost the exact same size (another first for me). The bad news is the yarn is pretty itchy and scratchy and not the Fleece Artist I know and love.

wool and alpaca
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This is a wool/alpaca mix that I spun for a handspun exchange at KR. I hope I have enough...I think there are 15 people in the exchange and I'm supposed to send five yards for each person. We'll see. I could measure I guess. Anyway, this turned outnicely and the alpaca, while a bit of a pain to spin, really softens up the wool.

more for Tim's sweater
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And finally, a bit more yarn for Tim's sweater. I think I might even be able to start the sweater...I am going to do a Knitting Pure and Simple top down raglan sleeve pullover, and hope he likes it. It should come out all tweedy. If he wont' wear it I probably will!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Too Much Rain

It has been so gloomy here that it has gloomied my spirits too. Putting all the Christmas decorations away makes me sad, and returning to the regular routine makes me sadder. I know I'll snap out of this, just not sure when.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

baby grand hat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And nothing says happy new year like a new alpaca hat.

I finished this last night while we were watching "The Secret of Roan Innish" for our NYE entertainment. I made up the design myself, but it is basically a watch cap with a 2/2 LC down the center. I made it out of the baby grande alpaca (I know it's called something else, just can't remember) that I got for Christmas. Haven't blocked or pom-pommed but there it is.

one 'robin' sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This week I also finished this sock...made from the yarn I received in the KR Sock Round Robin. It's a great green koigu kpppm, which I've never knit with (and I have some stashed...so I'll knit with it a lot. I think I like it better than Mountain Colors Bearfoot). Anyway, this sock is also my own pattern, a basic 2/2 rib except the knit rib is a 1/1LC. It looks pretty. I like it.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And finally, square 14 of the Aran Aghan. I know it's hard to see, but this is the fish pattern. There's a fish right in the middle of the 'net' on the square. A cool square, and fun to knit.

Next I'm trying to knit a square from the CHART and not from the written instructions...my first time trying this, wish me luck!

May this be a great year for you all. It is starting out a bit rough for friends and family, and we hope it can get better and more hopeful soon.