Thursday, June 29, 2006

Marquette Socks!

marquette socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My former Phd student Kati is leaving Eugene to start her new academic life as an Assistant Professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee. I promised her a pair of socks in Marquette colors (blue and gold) about six months ago, and promptly forgot. I remembered at her graduation, when I realized I only had about a month to get them done. And then i promptly forgot about making them til last Friday at the Black Sheep Gathering.

Where thank heavens, i found this colorway, "heavy metal' in Socks That Rock Medium Weight. I used a baby cable rib pattern for the ribbing and a traditional heel (not sure what this is called, but your basic cuff down heel). Yes, I've discovered that I can pick up stitches like a champ. Not sure when I acquired this skill but whatever. I cast on for these when, maybe last Saturday?, and they're done today. The leg isn't very long...just twenty rows til the heel starts. And the medium weight is great because I only cast on 48 stitches for the sock, so it all works up pretty fast.

I also did some spinning today and returned to work on my first real lace project...we had a cloudy day today and I spent most of the day knitting in celebration of the clouds.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So pretty

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I love this new yarn...I spun it from some romney I purchased at Rolly's farm a month or so ago. This yarn features 'before' and 'after' my class on Sunday...I can easily see where I got more consistent. This yarn is pretty well balanced and I think I'll make a mobius out of it. It's very pretty.

I had coffee today with Jodie today at Perugino. We gabbed and knit for a couple of hours (well, Jodie had to answer my incessant personal questions non stop, when will I learn that maybe EVERYONE doesn't want to tell me every detail of their life the first time they meet me?). It was very fun. She is so talented...check out her beautiful dye work on her blog. Her knitting talent puts me to shame, but then I rationalize that since she is a violinist she has much mroe hand coordination than I ever will.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not done!

other farm fiber
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I still have more to show you from the BSG. This is fiber that I bought from Dayspring Farm, a small farm in Corvallis, Oregon. There's over a pound of fiber each, so I should get enough for a sweater out of them.

I finished the first sock out of my new STR (in heavy metal) and have also spun quite a bit (I love not working, obviously). I've also been purchasing beads to do some spinning and knitting with beads, which I think is so pretty.

And I have even more to show you...the glass beads I purchased from Sheila and Michael and the buttons for my Rock 'n' Weave...but I'll wait til I actually put them ON the garments.

I got about halfway through "Widdershins" by Charles De Lint and put it just got too creepy for me. And there were also too many charachters. If you're a De Lint fan, please let me know what books of his you like, because I did like the writing, just not the particular book. I have "The Stolen Child" waiting which is another fantasy book (I guess fantasy books are the new hot book category). And some mysteries. So I should be pretty much set for reading for a bit.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Judith McKenzie McCuin, I Worship Thee

Let us all kneel at the feet (and the wheel) of the Amazing Judith, who taught the "Popular Wheel Mechanics" class at the BSG today.

Twenty other spinners and I hung on her every word for three solid hours. She sewed a new drive band for my wheel and then changed the double drive over to Scotch Tension. She told me that my last attempt at spinning was 'very nice'. She is smart and funny and kind and generous and she is a spinning Goddess.

A Goddess.

Off to spin now.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

BSG pt. 2, under the Blue Moon

blue moon ladies
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Me and the Blue Moon ladies....together at last! It was meant to be.

They're so nice, the Blue Moon ladies (it's Tina on the right, I'mnot sure who on the left). So nice. They loved my Rock and Weaves. They were incredibly helpful. They love their products and lock when you love their products too. Can I live in Scappoose?

blue moon bamboo
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've wanted to try bamboo yarn for a while, so i was excited when I saw this Bambu. Not tough enough for socks, but it looks like it will knit up into either a shrug or a shawl. It's a neutral yet gorgeous colorway.

blue moon diva
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This yarn is a laceweight rayon that sparkles. It can be used as a carry along or to in a shimmery lightweight shawl (which i think I"ll do). The colorway is diva.

omg they make roving
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Did you know that Blue Moon did roving? I didn't. They had some roving in the same terrific colorways as the rest of the yarns. This I think is Red Rooster,but I'm not sure.

blue moon sock yarn
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And of course, no purchase from Blue Moon would be complete without sock yarn. The left hand yarn is called "Heavy metal", which I've already cast on for a pair of socks for my former Phd student Kati. Kati has a job at Marquette University,and their colors are blue and gold. On the right is Ruby Slippers, which is a colorway I've always loved and now may turn into some lace socks for me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Black Sheep Gathering: Part One

klaus and teyani
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Or: I came, I saw, I bought a lot of fiber.

I spent the morning at the BSG, and had a great time. My overall impression was that there was *much* less yarn than last year and perhaps more fiber. There was more jewelry and 'ancillary' stuff. Enough to enjoy, but not overwhelming. I was there as soon as the doors opened and instead of doing the vendor area methodologically I was dashing hither and yon to make sure I had good choices for what I wanted to buy.

It was great meeting Teyani and Klaus of Crown Mountain Farm . I've purchased from them online and we visit eachothers blogs, but I've never met them in person. I went up to Teyani and asked "are you Teyani?" and when she said yes, I said "I"m Kim" and she and Klaus knew who I was (and what I had ordered). They were so nice and helpful. They're friends with Sheila and Michael, who I had just seen at the Gathering (and got a bunch of stuff, but that is for another post).

crown mountain farms fiber
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The red is superwash merino, which Klaus is confident I can spin into socks. The blue is merino, which Teyani occasionally knits up as a single. I'll hopefully spin it into some yarn to be used as a bag (hi person who I took our picture who had this yarn in a bag! You make turkish spindles but I can't remember your name!).

I also met Jen who blogs in Seattle and whose Mom lives just down the street from MDSW. Hi Jen and Hi Jen's Mom!

Anyway, I'm suffering a bit of fiber overload at the moment. More to come, including my visits with the wonderful ladies at Blue Moon Fiber Arts!

The BSG goes until Sunday afternoon, if you're in the Eugene area do stop by and say hi to Teyani and Klaus and Sheila and Michael.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knitting Knews

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Finally! Knitting and Spinning Stuff!

First off, here are my finished Jaywalkers. Well, actually they're Tim's. I did these toe up with a short row heel. Since I'm not afraid of picking up heel stitches anymore, I'm going to go back to doing some cuff down socks just to see if I can get a better look on the heel (ie no little holes that have to be fixed). I just can't get the hang of the extra-stitch-twisted thing to get rid of those little holes. And I didn't have that problem on the STR Rock and Weaves. So.

Second, I blocked the Aran Lace sweater....and BLOCKING ROCKS. The sweater now has proper length sleeves and looks terrific. I'll take pics as soon as it is finished drying (of course a sopping wet sweater can be tried on, but not photographed).

look, I spin too
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In preparation for my spinning class, I've been trying to spin for an hour a day. Luckily (or not), I've either got the Mother of All head colds or else Allergies a Go Go, and haven't felt like doing anything outside the house for the past two days. So I've done lots of knitting and spinning. This is a hand dyed corriedale from a local alpaca farm. I may have enough for socks (!!!!) but who knows.

And finally, Black Sheep Gathering starts tomorrrow! I plan on arriving as soon as the big doors open and here is my game plan/shopping list:

1. First stop: the bellwether since last year they had Koigu on sale for something like $5.
2. Second stop: Socks that Rock. I received an email yesterday from Kaci telling me to introduce myself to everyone at the booth. I'm taking my Rock and Weaves to show them and to shop at my
3. Third stop: Sheila and Michael Ernst's booth to see if I can find some buttons for my socks.

And then....miles of fiber fun. I am looking for sock yarn and beautiful fiber to spin. SO EXCITED!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!

It is the summer solstice, and I think summer has finally come to Oregon. It is strange to read blogs of people in other places complaining about the summer heat when it has been sort of cool and miserable here. But we're in a period of SUNSUNSUN with highs in the 70s, and who can complain about that?

OK. I can. I can't believe this, but I've contracted either a horrendous head cold or the worse case of allergies I've ever experienced. My head feels like it is stuffed with cotton. Yesterday I just lay on the couch and knit (I finished the Aran Lace Sweater) and I read a hysterical book, "Who Moved My Blackberry."

Anyway, the sweater. It is a bit snug and the short of sleeve. I'm hoping blocking does wonders. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Life is Just....

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Today is my first day done with classes, the first 'official' day of my sabbatical, and I feel so relieved. Relieved.

These beauties came from a cherry tree in our backyard...we've had the tree for several years, and have harvested maybe a dozen cherries over the years. This year, though, some type of harmonic convergence has resulted in dozens and dozens of delicious cherries for us.

What does that expression mean, anyway, life is just a bowl of cherries?

It was a good weekend. Graduation is always bitter sweet to me...I never realize how much I'll miss some students until they're standing in front of me, capped and gowned, with huge smiles on their faces. It was even harder this year because we celebrated my PhD student's completion of all her hard work...and now she's Dr. Tusinski, and off to Germany for three weeks, and then off to her new career at Marquette in Milwaukee. I'll miss her very, very much.

We had a great time at Kati's party on Saturday, and then last night Tim and I went to dinner at El Vaquero, a great tapas place in Eugene.

I've been spinning now, in preparation for my class on Sunday with Judith McKenzie McCuin. Yes, Black Sheep Gathering weekend is finally here!

I made my summer to do list and didn't even freak out about it. Lots of interesting projects, research wise, administration wise, and of course knitting wise!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's the finished little pink top. I made this out of some cotton-ease that I've had in the stash for a year or so. Fortunately, the reminaders will soon be joined by six more skeins that I just bought on eBay.

I don't understand the wisdom of yarn companies when they discontinue a good, workhorse, popular yarn. I love me the cotton ease. Lion Brand, are you listening?

Anyway, the little pink top is knit from the top down on circular needles. No seams. I made a bit of a blooper trying to give it some shaping at the waist (now I know why you knit a plain row after every decrease row, but it looks fine when it is worn).

ps. Flickr is being temperamental. I rotated the photo so it is 'supposed' to be a normal looking picture of a t shirt (ie the yoke at the TOP, not at the SIDE. If you click on the photo, you'll see it correctly. Sorry for the problem.

pss. Never mind.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

To me and Tim! Number eleven. yay!

I had to go to graduation this morning, then I came home and we went out to lunch at a restaurant far away from campus. Tonight we're going to my doc student's grad party, and then tomorrow we'll go have dinner at a tapas restaurant to celebrate.

I have been knitting, honest, and I'll show you what tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer Knitting

I'm almost done with grading and work...graduation is Saturday morning, and then I'm pretty much done. So I've started to think about Summer Knitting...even though it is cloudy, showery, and in the 60s here in Oregon this week. Oh well, summer knitting! What's on my agenda?

1. Finish the Aran Afghan: I think I have four squares left and then need to put it together. And just get it done.
2. Christmas gifts: felted clogs, wire knit candle holders, and an afghan for my brother (made with really, really big yarn).
3. Socks. Socks socks socks. I'm no longer afraid of picking up stitches so I can revisit some top down patterns. Socks.
4. Top down sweaters using yarn I've had for years in my stash. I still hate seaming, so I want to do some more top down stuff. I'm going to try my hand at designing some stuff too. I have enough handspun for a sweater for Tim, so I want to do that too.
5. Jodie's Market Bag that was in the new Mag Knits. And to have coffee with Jodie and knit some stuff with her.
6. Spinning. I want to improve on my spinning, and as I'm taking a class in a week and a half at the BSG I need to get less rusty. And maybe get together with Sheila and do some knitting or spinning.

That sounds pretty good...and believe it or not I have most of the yarn to accomplish all these things. So those are my summer goals. What are yours?

Monday, June 12, 2006


finished fairgrounds
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Except for the buttons.

Love the fairgrounds sokcs. Love 'em. I will wear them to the Black Sheep Gathering and show them off to the STR gals in the booth, where I will promptly buy much more STR yarn.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
What better place to KIP than at a beautiful waterfall in the Oregon cascades? We went on the loop hike that takes you up and around Sahalie falls and then down and around Koosah Falls. It's a nice trail with a bunch of ups and downs, but nothing too steep (good for us and for the dogs). There were a lot of people in the parking lot but not a lot on the trail, which was just fine with us. We did run into six mountain bikers, which I fervently believe do not belong on hiking trails. These were nice bikers, at least.

So here I am finishing up the "Fairgrounds" sock from the STR Rockin' Socks Club. Love these socks.

Did you KIP yesterday?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's a Sweater. Trust me.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is the Elann sweater, a top down lace cardigan. Don't feel bad if you have no idea what is up and what is down on this sweater...most of the time neither do I. The needles at the bottom are holding the two this pattern you knit the yoke, then the sleeves, then the rest of the body (although in retrospect, I could have knit the body and THEN the sleeves, I don't think the knitting police would come and arrest me). But...since the sleeves are meant to be done two at a time on two circs, the body (if it were done) would probably get in the way. Whatever.

We've been busy: aside from work and school, we had dinner Thursday night with my "Uncle" Ollie (my mom's cousin) and his new bride, Jackie. I think I posted this earlier: Unclie Ollie is 80, lost his wife about 4 years ago, and now has happily remarried. I think that is so cool. We had a fun dinner with them and their friends Rod and Mary, and I hope I have their energy and sensibility in 30 years!

Last night was a retirement cocktail party for three of my colleagues.

Today we're heading up the McKenzie to do a 3 mile hike with the dogs.

So as you might imagine, there has been minimal knitting time, but that's OK.

Oh! Before I forget: if you have the Summer Knitter's magazine, look at the Stitches ad on page 41. The small image of a woman with short hair in a striped tunic: that's my Sister in Law Candace! She modeled that at Stitches West when we were there in February! And now she is a famous Stitches Model! Pretty cool.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Little Pink Sock, er, Top

pinktop #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I guess you could say I created this pattern, but all I really did was take the basic Green Gable top down T pattern and instead of doing a lace pattern around the yoke I did alternating pink and white stripes. Whatever. So far, so good. I have about six inches of the body left and then this will be done.

It is knit in the late, great cotton-ease, which I love. It occasionally pops up for sale on eBay, but it will soon be gone. It makes me sad.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Last Day of Class!

Woo Hoo!

30 papers and 10 projects from now (ie graded) and I'll be done.

Sorry no pics lately...most projects are in a hard-to-photograph state: the pink t is almost done, the second sock is on the needles, and the lacy sweater from elann is a mass of dark blue spaghetti. This latter project is a top down sweater when you do the yoke and then the sleeves and then the body. Getting the sleeves on two circs took about an hour. I need an octopus assistant.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Blues

Tim is out of town for Niece Jean's graduation from high school and I must admit, I'm a bit lonely. I've been busy: had a very full work day on Friday, have another full week coming up (the last week of classes woohoo). I had lunch with Jen and Evan yesterday (Evan is about to be ONE! Can you believe it?) and have cleaned the kitchen, two bathrooms, and our bedroom. I've taken long walks wtih dogs. I've started "The Eight" by Katherine Neville (it's the year of mystical fiction, I tell ya) and have been knitting knitting knitting.

I'll be glad when he gets back tomorrow afternoon.

Knit wise...I started this lace cardigan from using the recommended yarn. It is going really, really fast...I guess that's what lace on fairly big needles gets ya. And I'm finishing up a pink cotton short sleeve sweater, adapted from the green gables pattern. And sock two is coming along nicely. So that's good.

I might have to take a wee nap now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

One down

One down
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the first of the pair of socks from the STR sock club...these are the socks with the linen stitch cuff. They are so happy looking, and of course being STR they feel wonderful. I think I need a new pair of shoes to show off these socks, don't you?.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rabbit Rabbit

Happy First of June. I remember a song from High School chorus that was part of a medley from some musical...Carousel maybe....."June is Bustin' Out all Over". The end of the song goes:

"Because it's JU-uu-uuuu-uuu--u--ne" (sung in a high voice) "JuneJuneJune" (sung in a low voice).

It doesn't make a lot of sense.

Anyway. June. Always a weird month in Oregon as summer tries to make its presence known and winter tried not to give it up to her (notice no spring in that allegory. Yes, that's Oregon). Today it is cloudy and very humid for Oregon, and it is supposed to rain rain rain later today. Tim heads down to San Jose for niece Jean's graduation, and I'll stay here and work.

Knitting is fine, thank you. While I started the top from the Sally Melville book I was a bit loosey goosey on the gauge (the story of my life), and ended up with a top that instead of being 19" across (the back, I mean) was 28. So since a 56" top would not be too flattering on me, I frogged it and did another top down sweater a la Green Gables but with a slight difference. Pics tomorrow. In the meantime, it's Juuuuuuuuuuunnne. JuneJuneJune.