Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mini Lace Rant

Ok, I totally get the idea of yo's and ssk's and k2tog's and even sk2togpsso's.

Here's what I don't get:
One (me) is instructed to co 16, pm, co 10, pm, co10, pm (repeat the co 10 pjm a few times), co 9.

Note: I totally get that there's a 10 stitch repeat in the middle with some sorta different stuff on the sides.

But then, around row 9, you get an extra stitch in the '16 stitch' pattern and then there's only 8 in the '9 stitch' pattern.

And so, you basically (yes) have to either move the stitch markers or knit 2 together with a stitch on either side of the stitch marker, which is basically moving the stitch marker anyways.

It's confusing. It makes my head hurt. And it annoys me I didn't figure this out til about row 25.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Little Imagination..

A Little Imagination..
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
is necessary when looking at lace.

At least MY lace.

I've done about 40 rows of the 52 row repeat. I think I have a 'new design element' every other row or so. But that's lace, isn't it.

It takes a bit of concentration, but in a good way.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Book DeStash

Spring cleaning time, and I turned my eye to the knitting book shelf. I found that I have numerous books for sale or trade (make me an offer!). Many are unused or just slightly used (gifts).

If you are interested in any of these leave a comment or email me at kbshee AT comcast DOT net substituting appropriate punctuation marks....you know the drill. I'll consider a trade for sock yarn or spinning fiber! Price does not include actual shipping calculated from zip code 97403.

Here are the books:

Ashford Book of Spinning: published 1986, an old library copy that I bought second hand
Price: $18

Vogue Knitting Accessorize
Price: $15 (retail $24.95)

Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen
Price: $10 (retail: $21.95)

Slip Stitch Knitting by Roxana Bartless
Price: $12 (retail: $21.95)

Knit Wit: 30 Easy and Hip Projects by Amy Singer
Price: $10 (retail $19.95)

After Dark: Uncommon KNits for Night Time by Jil Eaton
Price: $12 (retail $21.95)

Stitch 'n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller
Price: $6 (retail $13.95)

25 bags to Knit by Emma King
Price: $12 (retail $29.95)

Hip to Knit by Judith Swartz
Price: $9 (retail $18.95)

Hip Knits: 65 easy projects from hot designers by BHG.
Price: $8 (Retail: $19.95) (personal notations on several pages, ie very used)

thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cedar Creek

cedar creek sock #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's the first photo of the Cedar Creek Socks, the first yarn of the STR Rockin 'Socks Club. This is a really pretty pattern that is striaghtforward and good for things like knitting while watching movies. I love STR, and have made two pairs of socks for Tim out of the yarn but none for me...so this pair will be for me.

I did a very square short row toe (different than my usual figure 8) in order to avoid Elf Toe. I used the toe up instructions from Wendy (click here) . I'll also use these instructions for the heel.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tank you very much

purple tank
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is the back of the purple tank. It is knit side to side, thus getting the cable across the top effect.

No, I'm not this skinny. This is rolling like there is no tomorrow....probably an inch or so on either side is not visible in this picture.

And yes, if you're wondering whether there is a 'significant design element' (ie error) on the right side, it is. That is why this is definitely the back.

But anyway. Kinda cute, yes? This is taken from an old Knit N Style with many revisions. Knit in Mission Falls Cotton that was in le stash. I like it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

And another square

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I didn't put the rays on the sun yet (and I might not( but here is another square for the Aran Afghan.

I'm enjoying a knitting day today as my grading is done and the car is at the Mechanic's getting new brakes. I spent a few hours doing my first 'real' lace project (ie using laceweight yarn)...I've started a shawl from Lavish Lace (pics tomorrow). I'm also working on my STR socks and right now working on finishing the first piece of my purple tank.

This no-car thing isn't bad for a day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Everybody in the Pool!

ll socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The Lornas Laces Pool, that is.

So I finished my first pair of socks with LL. Notice anything? Yes, a lot of pooling. It is too bad because the stripes are quite cool, but the pooling is a bit much. I have more LL for a pair of socks for Tim, if they pool as much then I think I'm done with LL.

My STR sock club binder came with instructions on how to minimize pooling (knit with different ends of the ball of yarn every other row) but that seems like so much WORK. Complaining is much easier.

Finished the Beatles book. Guess what? They broke up. Oh no, did I ruin the surprise for you?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why I Love the Internet: Reason #67,435

Six weeks ago I posted about my bad hair cut experience.

Bonnie responded that her MIL owned a salon in my home town, and I should give her a try. So today I did. Bonnie rocks. Her MIL, Cecelia, rocks. My hair rocks. I'm a happy girl.

And I'm casting on my STR sock from the Rockin' Socks Club! That rocks too!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Meet the Beatles

I'm reading the big Beatles biography (I want to say it is by Mark Spitz but I know that can't be right...is it Bob Spitz?). It's like a thousand pages long. Yes, it has everything you want to know. And more. Oh, so much much much much much much more.

But it is written pretty well, even if it does include excrutiating amounts of minutae and ephemera.

Anyway. I am probably on page 300 or so and RINGO IS NOT EVEN IN THE GROUP. He is bouncing around playing drums for other bands in Liverpool, but he is not yet a Beatle.

Much of it I"m reading closely, but I must admit to skimming (during Brian Epstein parts, during some but not all George Martin parts). Paul's first serious girlfriend was named Dot. In case you were wondering.

Anyway, it got me thinking....did you ever watch the Beatles cartoons that were on during the (what) late 60s? They all wore their little Beatle suits and John's voice was done with a very posh BBC accent. My favorite, though, was Ringo, who had one line for the whole cartoon: "uh huh, yea". Done in a very liverpudlian accent (confirmed when I was in Liverpool 20 years ago). Which is not a great image to have in mind when you're reading what should be an Important Book about the Beatles.

Uh huh. Yea.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

So Many Projects...

Purple Tank
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
..so little time.

There is so much I want to knit right now, and am having a hard time keeping the numbers of WIPs down to a manageable level. I hope to get a lot of good knittin' done during the next week of break (that is, once I finish grading).

I have been going through all my old magazines, pulling out pattern/ideas I like, and tossing the rest. One idea was a sideways tank with a cable that goes across the top of the tank...very cute. (Well, the actual pattern had cables going all the way across, not so cute on me). So I adapted the pattern for yarn I had on hand...Mission Falls cotton in a fun purple color. Look closely, you can see the cable pattern near the top.

Another Square
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And onward with the Aran Afghan. I should have this finished by the end of the summer. This square is the one with the church (which I will change into a house with a smokestack). The Gingham-ish look is sort of cool looking.

LL #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And this will sound like knitting heresy, but I don't really like Lorna's Laces sock yarn. It is a bit flimsy for me...I like a sock with a bit more structure.

And know, I don't have elfin toes, somehow this one just ended up extra pointy. And yes, I do realize it looks a bit phallic in this picture. Not intended, honestly.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Annual Bad Joke

But it is my favorite joke in the world:

What is green and sits outside?

Paddy O'Furniture.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Grading grading grading

I'm in the midst of grading 120 papers. Oh fun.

The kiddos had their choice of three different articles to review and comment on (they had very specific instructions based on everything we covered in class this term). The articles dealt with ads before movies, rock bands selling out to advertisers, and virtual product placement (when an image of a product is digitally inserted in content). Some of the students wrote very insightful papers. Good for them!

And I've also had a number of papers that included such insights such as this: "if movie theaters continue to run ads before movies, it is possible that people will start watching movies somewhere where ads can't touch them: at home."

Be afraid, be very afraid. This is someone who will soon be part of the 'real world'.

Anyway...bits and pieces of knitting here and there. Nothing to show. I've also found that the more grading I have, the more projects I want to start on. It's an illness, I tell you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"The Last of Her Kind"

It's a book.

A really, really good book. A book that has me pretty much spellbound since I started reading it a few days ago. It is about friendship, the 1960s,and how the 60s shaped the It is incredibly well written. I believe the author's name is Sigrid Nunez, I've never read her work but i will go find more of it now.

This has, claro, put a damper on my knitting, but I'm moving ahead with the STR sock and cast on for another afghan square. And I finished the neck of the Mandarin blouse and just need to find somehooks and eyes to finish it off.

Back to reading...

Monday, March 13, 2006


mandarin blouse
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Behold, the Mandarin Blouse.

It looks so innocent, yet LOOKS BETRAY! The blouse is the blouse of Satan.

So I exaggerate. It has been a bit frustrating to work on this blouse. Ribbon yarn (Berroco Zen) is not forgiving. Oh no. Not at all.

And the doggone yarn is slippery. Slippery like an eel. Like a fox. Like a pissed-on pig (I found that on google while searching for 'slipperly like'. Like a fish. Like a slug. YOu get the idea.

It is so slippery the stitches on the stitch holder for the neck band just slipped right off the stitch holder, and were having a little party for a while, until I caught them.

So I have to go get them whipped into shape now. Which won't be easy. Because they're slippery. Slippery like.....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Another Square

16? 17?
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished this afghan square that I started last week to work on during the Oscars. It is one of the squares from the book, adapted a little bit...the square in the book had a spider and spider web but I prefer the simplicity of the vines surrounded by the xo cable on the sides. This is simple but it's really pretty, it is one of my favorite squares so far.

I only have a couple left, so I may finish this during this year after all!

Last week of class next week: I'll have 120 papers to grade as of next Thursday so I'm going to try to get far on the two projects in progress before then. I'm almost done with the back on the Mandarin Blouse.

Last night we watched "Walk the Line", which I liked but could have been shortened by about 20 minutes (in knitting terms, here's the major plot points: *he takes drugs, he cleans up,over 2 hours he wants to marry her, she says no, repeat from * til the movie is 2 hours long), the performances were very, very good and the cinematography was breathtaking (did this win anything for cinematography? It should have).

I started "The Year of Magical Thinking" which is pretty astounding. I don't think I've read any Joan Didion (maybe in college? I always thought she was an eastern elitist feminist writer, not that there's anything wrong with that, just not my cuppa) but I'm changing my mind.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Six Absences, One Email

So...six of my little darlings apparently were snowbound, and they did not appear in class yesterday. Only one student emailed to tell me he was stuck.

It snowed again this morning...to the extent that schools were closed and busses were on snow routes. In our neighborhood, the total snow accumulation was about 3 centimeters. Yep. Footsteps quickly melted the snow down to bare pavement.

I live in a Land of Wimps.

Anyway. I have been knitting...only the mandarin blouse just looks the same, lots and lots of ribbing. I'm almost done with the back though, that should be a cause for a picture.

Thanks for all the guesses...and Meaghan, you're such a comic.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Snow My Goodness!

We woke up this morning to school opening delays on the radio...snow! In March! In Oregon! I jumped out of bed (well, that's probably not quite right...dragged myself out of bed is better) and checked out the window...snow in the garden, nothing on the patio. And that's the theme...snow on ground, not on pavement.

But, any guesses on how many of the 120 vessels supposed to appear for my 10:00 class will give me a 'snow day' excuse? Guess in the comments. Results tomorrow. I'll guess 5.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Even though it is grey and wet, hints of Spring are in the air. I've been waking up at 4:30 for the past few mornings and when I start to drift back, around 5:30, the birds start singing. It's lovely...a wonderful reminder of things to come.

The animals are getting frisky, which I can only blame on the sun coming up early and the scent of something n the air. Already this morning Cody has carried the bag of rabbit hay throughout the house before I realized he was doing it, and Shasta is collecting all the dog bones into a pile that is her's and her's alone.

And the knitting? I started on an afghan square that is an adaptation of one in the GAAA book (the spider one, without the spider, so an xo cable with a lovely leaf pattern in the center of the square). But mostly, I'm working on endless ribbing withthe Mandarin blouse. When the piece gets to 15" I get to divide for front and back. Right now I'm at 13 inches. Getting there.

Hope it is getting spring-y where you are!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday Monday

lagoon sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Nothing this weekend could equal the excitement of finishing the Shrug, so this post wil be a bit of a letdown. We did have a nice weekend...a few good walks with the dogs, lots of knitting, hanging out and watching the Oscars last night...although I'm still searching for a good book to read (ideas welcome).

I taped the new Lily Chin show, Stitchcraft, and I'll comment on that later.

But anyway...finished a sock for Tim out of the medium weight Socks that Rock in Lagoon.

It turned out nicely...little pooly, but mostly stripey in a nice way.

miles of mandarin
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I try to work on the Mandarin Blouse a bit every day...I think there are something like 180 stitches on the needle being knit in a rib pattern. It's a front-button blouse knit in one piece, so I'm more than halfway done, and hopefully when I divide for the front and the back the progress will be a bit more apparent.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Shrugging it Off

streakers shrug
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Or on. Or whatever.

Anyway..I'm so excited, I finished the Streakers Shrug from the new IK (in somewhat record time, I must say) and I even SEAMED IT and it DOESN"T LOOK HORRIBLE. In fact, Tim even commented on how good the seams look. This, in spite of the fact that the piece curves.

I'm inordinantly pleased with this (and honestly, I don't even know what inordinantly means). I couldn't wait to take a picture and resorted to the mirror-in-the-bathroom pose. That's how excited I am!

The fact that I didn't totally muck up the seaming makes me pretty happy. Did you notice?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Only Two Weeks Left

Only two weeks left in the Winter term...and I finally feel like I have room to breathe and to catch up on life. It feels good. I'm a much better person when I'm not under stress, when I get some sleep, and when I feel I have a bit of control over my life. I'm out of energy, though, for teaching, especially for teaching the big class of 120 babies (oops, meant College Seniors). I even resorted to showing an hour long video tape (after which, I must admit, we had a pretty good discussion for 20 minutes).

Thanks for the comments on my knitting! The Branching Out was knit from Alpaca Brush from Plymouth....my mom sent me some for Christmas, and it works up nicely. I finished the body of the Streakers Shrug last night...it is such a pleasure to knit with the yarn I didn't want to stop! I still have to do the lace cuffs on the sleeves and seam it (ugh). I hate seaming. I like the shrug so much, though, that I'm committing myself to doing a good job with the seaming. That's really something for me. So we'll see.

So. I MAY begin Madli's shawl (or I may start another Aran Afghan Square). Probably the latter.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yes, I knit too!

b.out final
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I do more than buy yarn and put it in plastic bags, you know.

Time for a parade of FOs.

First, Branching Out. I haven't woven in the ends yet but you can see how pretty this scarf turned out. I feel much more confident in my lace knitting and am thinking about doing Nancy Bush's Madli's scarf (have you made this one?)

streakers shrug
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The Streakers Shrug is knit in one piece and then seamed...and worn sort of like a big box with arms. Hard to visualize, I know, but I'm about 3/4 of the way done. La Lana Streaker's wool (hence name) is gorgeous to work with!

one lorna's laces sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This yarn lives in my purse, and I find moments here and there to knit on the sock...it's Lorna's Laces and just lovely. I took this to San Jose and turned the heel at the SW STudent Banquet, and knit on it in the car, hence it got done. I like how the colors stripe.

Sock two has maybe the toe done.

str for tim
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Finally, socks for Tim made out of STR Medium Weight in the lagoon Colorway. He wanted a yarn that he could wear with his green shirts, and this one seemed to fit the bill pretty well. As it is medium weight, it works up pretty fast, and they feel terrific.