Monday, February 27, 2006


the hall
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It was a fiber filled weekend (again!), featuring knitting, spinning, and, oh, wrangling my stash into some type of manageable format.

Tim installed these great wire bins in the guest room closet, which work great, except a. I quickly outgrew the bins and b. the cats found they could pull yarn out of the bins and play with said yarn. Additionally, Tim has mentioned Fear of Moths in the past weeks, so all told, time to get my act together and clean up my stash.

So, I sorted it all by weight and color and fiber, put it in plastic bags, and lined it up in the hallway.

the corner
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And when the hallway got full (and frankly, when i was getting tired), I just sort of plopped it all in the doorway to the guest room.

So, I found out a lot of things...

1. I can make socks in four different colors of blue, four of red, and two of neutral, who knew?

2. I can make a lot of lace stuff.

3. I can probably make a couple cotton tanks for summer.

4. I have too much Cascade 220.

In fact, when I was putting everything away, it all fit except for all the cascade 220 (in this picture on the left hand side). My felting stash. I guess yarn in ziplocs has a bit more volume than yarn that isn't. So, next stop is to find a place for the felting yarn (and I have three stash bags under the bed, so don't ask about those).

The room is starting to look good though. And isn't that the important thing?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

what is it about casting on?

Why is casting on so fun? For me, it is the best part of knitting...I can hardly wait to cast on for something new. Andd while I generally greatly enjoy all my projects, nothing beats casting on.

And I know I'm not alone...I think the reason so many people have UFOs is because of the thrill of the cast on! And the reason many people have many WIPs too.

I know have 4 WIPs which is the most I permit myself (or nothing will get done): the Streakers Shrug, the Mandarin Blouse, STR socks for Tim, and the Sock in my Purse.

So who's with me and a big fan of casting on?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Why Julia Rocks

julia score
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Do you read Julia's blog? If you don't, you should take a look. This will give you an indication of Why Julia Rocks.

But specifically:
1. She is an awesome knitter, and I consider her a goddess of colorwork.
2. She is a terrific spinner.
3. She seems to have a terrific marriage, including a husband who gave her a drum carder for Christmas once.
4. The Boy. Adorable.
5. Re. The Boy, she designed and felted a pirate hat for him to wear for Thanksgiving.
6. She knows People with Livestock.
7. She is a published Author (the back of Spring IK) and because I noticed it (first) I got a present!

It's Knit Picks merino (this will be cabled something). It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot (and you know I love that). It is adorable stationary (stationery?) and myu favorite thing...a tape measure with puppies on it!

Julia. She Rocks. She Rocks Hard.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Casting On

Pre-Stitches Mindset: Maybe I'll just knit socks for the rest of my life.
Post-Stitches Mindset: I want to KNIT IT ALL!

I don't know what it was about Stitches, but I am so psyched to try new things knitting wise. Maybe because it came at the end of an incredibly busy and tense six week period in my life...maybe it is because I just got word that my sabbatical was approved (yay), but now I'm just itching to knit all kinds of new things. Maybe it is the gorgeous new yarn that is in my stash, um, knitting basket.

As you know, I started the Mandarin Blouse, and I'm about 8 inches into that. I also cast on for the Streakers Shrug out of La Lana Streakers. This is probably the first time I've knit with really 'good' wool and it is an absolute pleasure. I can't put it down, even if it is just stockinette. And I finished one sock in Lorna's Laces and cast on the second for my 'purse sock', and then I cast on with STR medium weight for a pair of socks for Tim.

And i had to stop myself from casting on for Madli's Shawl and for Cat Bordhi's shawl from IK Summer '04.

And I had to stop myself from casting on for the Sunrise Circle Shawl.

I'm in a bad, bad way.

I also started a long has it been since I read anything? Anyway, started 'The Good Life' by Jay McInerny. I like it.

Did you see the PBS special on "Windsor Castle"? Pretty cool. Makes you want to be royal for a while, if just for the creme brulee (STEVE).

Quintisential (sp??) Stitches Moment: Knitting Lady comes up to me and says "Is that a Clapotis in Lion and Lamb in Black Pearl"?

Why yes. It is.

And Clapotis? Pronounce it Cla-poe-TEE. Trust me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stitches Banquet

happy us
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Look at me (on the right, in my clappy) and Candace (on the left, in her beautiful tunic) partying wtih the knitting Bigwigs at the Student Banquet at Stitches West. Sitting next to Candace was Nancy Bush, wearing the Madli's Shawl from IK Summer 2004. I gushed. She was so nice. Anyway, the banquet. It was fun, although the MC (the editor of Knitter mag, Rick Mondragon) was incredibly obnoxious. We just won't go there. The banquet featured a student fashion show (which Candace modeled in) as well as...

door prize
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...prizes! Door prizes! Table prizes! Prizes!

I won a door prize, which was announced as a wool/hemp mix. Here it is a minty green color which is pastel enough to be wearable. And imagine my surprise when I peeled back the label to find that it wasn't a hemp/wool mix but 100 cashmere. Yes. 100% cashmere. Score.

table prize
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And there were table prizes too...that is, a big bag was delivered to the table and everyone got a prize. I got the pattern for a teddy bear sweater (well, I swapped a Rowan intarsia pillow pattern with Candace). I like these colors, and can make a baby hat or something out of them. Prizes! Love prizes!

Anyway. Stitches. It was fun. Tomorrow I wind my booty (bounty?) and the fun begins. Yarn. Yum.

And there's more. I received a surprise package from Julia , one of my favorie bloggers in the knitting cyberuniverse. So I have that to show you soon. And. I ordered yarn for the Sunrise Circle Jacket. So that's here too...and I haven't even opened the elann box.

I'm drowning in yarn. I'm so happy!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Warning: Significant Stash Enhancement Ahead

la Lana!
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Oh. My. God. Stitches West. What a mindblowing (and wallet blowing) experience. Tim and I drove down to San Jose to stay with his sister Candace and her family over the weekend. Candace is an incredible knitter, and wanted me to come down so we could go to Stitches West in Santa Clara. Oh. My. God. It was something.

I'll do the Market today and the student dinner to start with, what an incredible group of vendors. Whatever you want, you can find. It wasn't like Black Sheep Gathering, where the Vendors have great deals. Instead, it is all the newest yarn as well as the hard to find yarn. Like this. Streakers by La Lana. There is a great pattern in the new IK so I splurged on the wool for it. I love it. It isn't quite the wool in the pattern, but Candace helped me pick it out and we like this color better.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I didn't get a picture of this great lace weight yarn from Australia by a company called Wagtail....Candace and I both bought kid mohair from the booth, it is gorgeous. One of my favorite booths was of course the Socks That Rock booth, where I found some yarn requested by Tim (earthy green sock yarn). This has green, blue and grey tones and is beautiful.

beaded angora
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
One of the things on my 'look for' list was beaded yarn with the beads already woven in. I found this from a small vendor called Angora Cottage, and this is a beautiful dark grey yarn with dark grey beads spun in. This is about 150 yards, and I'll probably use it on cuffs of some gloves. The people at this booth were sooo nice.

c and software
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Candace (on the left, in the beautiful sweater that of course she made) did some shopping too...she bought the software to help you make sweater patterns. Good thing, because she was all set to buy a pattern for the Squirrel Monkey sweater and the booth that was selling it was sold out. And they told her that she could find the pattern on their web site but she couldn't. Not good service, Interlacements. It is a good thing that the poor service happened after I bought....

tiny toes
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...tiny toes, from Interlacements. I've never used their yarn (honestly, they're just too expensive) but two skeins of this was somewhat reasonable...and they are in the natural green color that Tim is looking for.

But that's not all. Then was the student banquet. More yarn. More fun. More pics soon.

stitches. Stitches!

OMG. Stitches was awesome, bordering on overwhelming. I had a great time there with my SIL, Candace. I spent money, lots of money (La Lana. LA LANA!). Pics soon, as well as a completed trip sock.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All branched out

I finished the branching out scarf and just have to block it to call it done. Yay!

Not sure what to start next, but I'm guessing Stitches will give me some ideas.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Project

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I love this Mandarin Blouse at the new IK, but I didn't like that the blasted yarn cost so much (it would cost almost $120 for me to make this). I also like the Sunrise Circle sweater...but the yarn for that is ridiculous too (I bought a substitute yarn today at Elann for about $30 for the whole shebang).


Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I have some Berroco Zen in a very pastel light green that I'm going to try to make into the Mandarin Blouse. I don't have enough, of course, but I ordered some more and am hoping that it will work out OK. It should make a great spring/summer top if it works. We'll see.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And I'm still branching out...and have only messed up maybe four times over about 30 repeats. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Crossed Threads

sock for tim
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It is amazing how the internet connects me to other knitters, and how knitting connects me to the world. No, I'm not going to have a quasi-philosophical post, but some random knitting/life things have happened in the last few days that I thought I'd write about.

But first, a sock. This is the first one, out of some Cherry Tree Hill supersport that I got at the black sheep gathering last year. I don't think they make this yarn any more, and I only bought about 250 yards, hence the heavy insertions of black into the sock.

OK. First thing:

A student emails me that she wants to talk about single sponsor magazines. I thought she heard about me because of a lecture I gave on Target buying all the ads in an issue of the New Yorker . She comes in...a lovely young woman...and wants to talk about the topic because of..ready...Knit One! Being sponsored by Lion Brand. Cracks me up. We talked about knitting and advertising and publishing and had a lovely chat.

Second thing.

I posted about my bad hair cut. It turns out that a Kr-er, Bonnie has a MIL with a salon in Eugene. So I'll go to her for my next hair cut. And Bonnie? She lives in Costa Rica. Where we went on vacation last summer.

Third thing.

Not a biggie, but I was reading the new IK and read the back page article which was written by Julia Farwell-Clay . Julia posted in KR about a year ago that she needed one skein of black Rowan Magpie. I sent her one that I had (I don't like the yarn, was pleased to mail it off) and so have been a regular visitor to Julia's wonderful blog. I was delighted to read her article, and of course posted on her blog. And who knew? She had a secret contest that the first person who congratulated her would win a prize! And it was me!

Good knitting karma just goes around and around.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Highlight of My Day

Things you don't want to hear when you sit down to have your hair cut:

"I feel awful, I was up all night"
"I just broke up with my boyfriend"
"I really don't know what I'm doing today"

Lucky me! I heard all three when I arrived yesterday at the Salon and Spa from Hell. I should have taken that as a sign to just walk away (as I've wanted to do for the past three months) but didn't. Ah.

I used to like the SaSfH. I had the wonderful Jessica doing my hair for two years, who was easy to book and fun to be around. She just GOT my hair. But then she got pregnant and decided to retire (good for you Jessica!) and turned me over to the angst-ridden Micah. The first time she cut my hair I looked like the Chris Guest charachter in Spinal Tap. The second time I sort of micro-managed the whole process and it looked ok. In addition to this, the SaSfH has a habit of scheduling appointments and then 'losing' them. A bit unprofessional and frustrating.

Yesterday was the test: haircut and highlights, and if I didn't like them I had already decided to try another place.

So, I asked for subtle blonde highlights (and she had notes from Jessica on what had been used in the past). And a half inch off. At this writing (before I've messed with it), I had sort of big blonde short texas my name should be Dolly or Lou and I should be wearing a pink waitress outfit with dangling earrings and long nails.

Not that I'm stereotyping or anything.

Maybe I'll feel better after I shower. Maybe not. Pretty sure I'm going to find someone else to cut my hair.

Anyway. Got a few more repeats done on Branching out and finished a sock for Tim. Picks soon.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the 90 minute sorority girl

I was never in a sorority in college even though probably 60% of the students were (this was the 70s, people, it was the thing to do in the MidWest). I went through rush twice, once I dropped out, once I got dropped. Oh well. I thought I was over it.

But when two of my students invited me to their scholarship dinner, I was positively giddy! I guess I wasn't as 'over it' as I thought.

So Monday I was a ninety-mnute Pi Phi when I joined two of my lovely students, Ashley and Desi, for dinner. We sat in a crowded dining room at a table with three other lovely Pi Phis and one other faculty member (who was a grad student in the music school, and looked about 12). We ate little food (really...little slices of chicken, little roles, little ice cream bowls) and I had a terrific time chatting with the women at the table. We talked about grades, about pressure, about support systems at the was really a good time.

But I was glad to leave. Too many women in way too small a space. They snap their fingers instead of clap for things they like, and the incessant clapping (for good grades, for the ice cream, for all the faculty members joining them). The singing. It was starting to get a bit much. But I was glad I was asked, and I was glad I went. Go Pi Phi~

Monday, February 06, 2006

I Face Lace

branching out #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I want to like lace knitting, I really do.

I love those big old lacy shawls that have sheep and leprechauns and skylines and pictures of your whole family done with yarnovers and knitting two togethers, I really really do. I want to be able to sit down and whip one out. I have the yarn.

But, we just don't seem to get on, me and Lace. I thnk it is because lace is sooo demanding: You Must Do It This Way. If you don't, every row will be screwed for the rest of the project.

But it says it in such a nice, gentle way, I want to like it and do what it says.

So. Here is Branching Out from Knitty. I'm knitting this in that Alpaca Brush that I got for Christmas...perfect for lace because it is soft and fluffy and warm and looks gorgeous. I've done 7 or 8 pattern repeats (so I'm probably, honestly, about a fifth of the way done). So that's only 70 or 80 rows.

And I've ripped out, oh, 20 rows? Two major frogs on this pup. Can you see the 'spine' that goes up the center? Yep, one stitch here or there off the pattern, and your spine basically goes away. Call the neurosurgeons, my spine is gone. Frustrating.

So. I'll keep going on this. I've created a couple little tricks (knit in threes) (check the spine) so it isgoing a bit better. But I just don't know why i put myself through this. Do you?

Lace support appreciated!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Knitaversary to Me!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Today, Super Bowl Sunday, is my Knitaversary. Two years ago, on Super Bowl Sunday, I sat down with a Lion Learn-to-Knit kit and made a godawful scarf out of denim blue lion acrylic. And look...two years later...I can do a sock! I never imagined I'd be able to do socks, and things in the round, and felt...knitting is a huge accomplishment in my life.

Now if I could just learn to sew seams.

This sock is for Tim...I bought some discontinued yarn at the Black Sheep Gathering (Cherry Tree Hill Super Sport) and I only have 250 yards, so I'm having lots of black to go with it.

These are very thick and cozy socks, which Tim loves, so I'll think of them forever as the Knitaversary socks.

I also started the Branching Out scarf with the Alpaca Brush I received for Christmas. I've done two pattern repeats and already have found a booboo, but I have no idea on how to drop stitches to fix lace. So, we'll call it a design element and move on.

Teyani tagged me for a meme, so here goes:

4 jobs you have had in your life
* College Professor
* Advertising Vice President
* Gift Wrapper at Marshall Fields
* Frozen Coke booth attendant at St. Louis Zoo

4 movies you could watch over and over
* Working Girl
* This is Spinal Tap
* When Harry Met Sally
* Best in Show

4 places you have lived
* Eugene, OR
* Oak Ridge, Tn
* Boston, MA
* Chicago, IL

4 TV shows you love to watch
* Project Runway
* Bleak House
* Apprentice
* Law and Order Duh DUM

4 places you've been on vacation
* Costa Rica
* San Juan Islands
* Germany
* London

4 websites you visit daily
* KR
* Yarn Harlot
* Blogging Project Runway
* Other sites I visit several times a week, but not daily

4 of my favorite foods
* Chocolate (dark)
* Mashed, french fried, hash brown potatoes
* Pizza from Mezza Luna
* Seafood

4 places you would rather be right now
* Anyplace warm
* Anyplace dry

4 bloggers that you are tagging
* Steve (
* Jen (
* Megan ( (even though she's in Thailand. She'll be back)
* Hey YOU! Want to do this meme? Go ahead!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

4 grams of yarn

4 grams of yarn
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
That's all that was left when I finished my clapotis.

I was a bit worried. All of a sudden I look at the ball and there is almost nothing left...and I didn't seem to be anywhere close to finished. But then I held my breath and just kept on going, and lo and behold, I had a tiny little ball of yarn left and clappy was done.

The banana is to give you some idea of the actual amount of yarn that is left.

clappy complete
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here it all of its clappy goodness.

I loved knitting this. I will love wearing this.

In other news...

Are you watching "Bleak House'? On "Masterpiece Theater"? It is an adaption of the Charles Dickens book. It is great. Plus, all the charachters have great Dickensonian names, like Mr. Guppy. So we're giving all our animals DIckens names.

Louise, the rabbit,is Lady Greyears.
Shasta, the dog, is Miss Wagglehard (she wags her tail quite hard).
Stella, the cat, is Miss Seizurefit.

And so on.

Bleak House. BLEAK HOUSE. Go watch it.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I've just about had it with many of my soon-to-be-college-graduate students.

This term has been awful in terms of personal responsibility. Broken printers. Late Busses. Being confused on what day of the week it is, and therefor not coming to class ("I came yesterday, honest"). I set very firm rules at the start of the term that makes me feel like I'm dealing with children ("don't print stuff out ten minutes before class. Take an earlier bus") and I am ready to scream, scream, scream at them all.

Then. I'm running a workshop next weekend that has competitive admission and involves high-powered alums in the ad industry coming down to participate and work with students. Out of the 20 students in the workshop, I was contacted by three (THREE!) who have had something 'come up' on the Saturday of the workshop, and would it be OK if they didn't come?

Uh, no.

The three reasons were: job interviews in New York, a wedding, and a visit by an Aunt.

Let me tell you, those three were sorry they asked.

At the risk of sounding like a crochety old lady, just WHAT IS UP??? Why do they act like this? What is going to happen when they enter the 'real world'?


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Exhibit A

exhibit A
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
No, I didn't just get back from walking the dog.

I'm participating in a handspun yarn exchange: sort of like a Christmas cookie exchange, but with yarn. I send off 18 little baggies, each with about 5 yards of my own handspun, to Kim P. in Livonia Michigan. In a few weeks, i'll get an envelope with 18 different samples of handspun yarn. The theme for this exchange was 'blends' i send a wool/alpaca blend. It will be fun to see the different types of blends and hear the stories of how they were spun.

On the whole, I like exchanges/secret pals/gift elf type things, but I don't think I'll be doing many of them in the future. I've had two great sp/gift elfs and one that has apparently forgotten about me, so that puts a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. The exhcnages, like the Sock Round Robin and this one, are very fun and much lower on the committment chain.

Clapotis is coming to a fast close, pics soon. I've started new socks for Tim with a much, much thicker yarn than I'm used to, so I'm worried about running out of it. Thank goodness for the little scale.