Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quick Hello from Alaska!

We've been here for six hours, and I have already bought yarn...some lovely handpaint from an artist in Anchorage.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I haven't been a good sock knitter this summer (Lady E is just too fun) but I wanted to post a pic of the Widdershins in progress. This sock has a really pretty little cable on it. It is a well written pattern, too, zip on over to to check it out. The yarn is Interlacements Toasty Toes in a discontinued color that I got at Stitches West.

something a little more red
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And something red moves forward...this sweater features ribbing beginning under the bustline with increases so that it nips in and then goes out again. I think this will be a very flattering sweater when it's done.

So that's where I stand for now...and now the blog will be off on vacation until after Labor Day. To all my blog buddies: have a terrific end of summer and a very safe Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cats in a Sink!

jessie cat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Maybe a sequel to Snakes on a Plane?

Jessie Cat enjoys sitting in bowl like objects. She is quite the character.

Not much knitting going on as I am running around getting ready to (finally) go on vacation on Sunday...I'll be sure to post my pics of wips by tomorrow. I'm figuring out what to take on the plane that will entertain me and that has a low chance of confiscation!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Something a Little Red

something red #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
There's a KAL going on at the cotton ease Yahoo group...ya gotta love the Internet, which allows the formation of a group of knitters who love cotton ease. Anyway, the KAL is for the Something Red cardigan, a pretty cute pattern, and I luckily had the cherry red yarn to knit it up with. It is a top down cardigan (I know, danger Will Robinson) but I have a much better handle on this, and it looks like it fits well (there will be a pretty wide piece around the edges and a great little collar).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


another lady e
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've knit a bit more since I took this picture, and Lady E is about 4/7ths of the way done. It is at the point where this shawl is very heavy and almost getting to be a pain to knit because of its size...but I still really enjoy it. It just flies by on the needles. I've given up trying to finish it before vacation...mostly because I don't think I'll have room in my suitcase to pack it!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Three Good Books

A few posts back, I had mentioned that I was having trouble finding some good books to read this summer. I've just finished three good books so I thought I'd take a moment and tell you about them.

1. Do you like "Six Feet Under"? One of the writers on the show, Jill Soloway, just wrote a memoir that really isn't about Six Feet Under but is really good anyway. I love this writer for a couple of reasons. We both have a very similar Alpha Phi story, she lived in downtown Chicago near where I lived, and she admits she googles herself (and if you google yourself and find my blog, Jill Soloway, please leave a comment because there is a question about your book I really, really have to ask you). It is funny and smart and interesting and NOT a waste of your time.

2. I picked up "London is the Best City in America" by Laura Dave thinking it was a book about people in my favorite city in the world, London. Wrong! It was a good book anyway: the weekend in the life of a sister and brother where the brother is getting married and isn't sure it is the best idea. Imperfect families figuring out tough things. You could probably read this in an afternoon on a hammock and it would be an afternoon well spent.

3. Alyssa of Sock Yarn Fame recommended The Prestige by Christopher Priest. It is the story of two magicians and their years-long feud (does it sound like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell yet?). It is told from multiple points of view and is just really fascinating. It was really one of the first 'can't put down' books I've read since, um, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (what is it about books about magicians?). I have never heard of this author but would definitely try another Priest novel.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ho Ho Ho

m-d warshcloth
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I decided earlier this week that my knitted Christmas gifts for family would be Mason-Dixon knitted warshcloths made with Cotton Chennille. And probably some soap (that would be the gift, knot the contents of the warshcloth). So I dug out some Crystal Palace CC and tried a warshcloth and even though CPCC is NOT easy to work with, it makes a nice little giftie that can be worked up in a short period of time.

I don't have a big family, but I have a bunch of sisters in law, a mother, an aunt, and a mother in law and I like to make little somethings for them (not all of them, Candace-if-you're-reading-this...something nicer than a warshcloth for you). This pattern is fun and just a bit complex, which is good since it is likely I'll be working on these on a couple of long flights coming up (if I can get my denise needles on board, that is).

And I feel like I've made a tiny little dent in the Christmas gift planning for this year, which is something.

Lady E is more than halfway done!

Friday, August 18, 2006

One thing leads to another....

Top Down Raglan Cardi
Originally uploaded by kbshee. I managed to really, really mess up a "Knitting Pure and Simple" cardigan.

So here is my cotton-ease cardi blocking out in the garage. This is the Knitting Pure and Simple Top down V Neck Cardigan sweater pattern. It frightens me that I can totally mess up something called Pure and Simple. Here is what happened:

1. If you've done a top down raglan, you know you do increases at the raglan shoulder lines on a pretty regular basis. On a v=neck cardi, you also do increases at each end of the fabric. BUT you stop the v neck increases long before you stop the raglan increases. That is, if you pay attention. If you don't, you end up with about 5 extra inches on either side. Do you frog? Heck no!

You make it a design feature, and integrate some button holes in the rest of the body.

2. On the subject of increases...let's say you end up with a few extrastitches in the armhold area. Like, oh, maybe 15 per sleeves. Do you frog? Heck no! So what if when you return to do the sleeve you need to pick up, oh, 25 stitches instead of the 16 mentioned in the pattern (the pattern is only a suggestion, isn't it?).

You make it a design feature, and hope that batwing sleeves have a miraculous return to popularity toute suite. Or. You hope it shrinks in blocking.

3. And so you now have a sleeve big enough to hold, oh, both your arms and a baseball bat. Instead of doing a sleeve decrease every sixth row, you do one every other row til you get to the elbow. Then you try it on and it is just a weeeee bit snug. Snug enough so that long sleeve shirts will not work under this sweater. Do you frog? Heck no!

Tighttighttight sleeves are now a design feature. And maybe they'll stretch out while blocking.

So here are the lessons we (meaning me) learned:

1. Design features are good
2. Hopefully cotton ease will block into miraculous shapes.
3. Pure and simple is a misnomer if you do not follow the instructions.

Godspeed knitters.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Fair-ly Good Evening!

red ribbon bag
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We headed over to the first night of the Lane County Fair to visit our submissions and see if we won anything. And of course to hit the curly fry booth and visit some chickens. The Fair. It's really something...and it is also sort of amazing we can visit the Scandinavian Festival (uf dah!), the Saturday Market (trippy, man) and the Lane County Fair (-insert screams from children on those scary, scary rides here-) over the period of 4 days. Very cool.

Anyway, the big room where they display the foods, arts, and textiles was emptier than usual, and we found that while some categories (dried foods and handspun yarns, for example) had many more entries than last year, other categories (hand knit socks and quilts, for example) had many fewer. This year the knitted things were all in a back corner covered in weird netting stuff, so it took me a while to find it. The first thing I found was my red felted bag, which won a red ribbon. First place went to one of those cute felted fiber trends sheep, which was more deserving.

yay tim
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
In the meantime, Tim found his pot on the artwork table, happily wearing a blue ribbon for the professional ceramics category. Congratulations honey! And although we don't have the photographic evidence, I'm happy to tell you that Tim also took home ribbons for his beef jerky, dried pineapple, and dried mushrooms. As I mentioned, the competition was much fiercer for these categories than in previous years. Congrats honey!

white ribbon blue sweater
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My blue lace sweater won third place (no, it wasn't snowing at the is that silly net over it). They also folded the sweater nice than I could fold it, so I really appreciate that! THe competition for this sweater was two aran cardigans, which were nicer than mine, so I'm happy with the white ribbon You can almost see the cute little glass beads that are at the bottom of the picot edge in this picture. Key word: almost..

special award
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The biggest surprise was that my 'rock and weaves' won a 'special award', which I believe means the 'best of the best' in the knitting category. This pattern was part of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Socks club, and the buttons were from Sheila and Michael Ernst . I get the very cool ribbon that you see here, and I think i also might get a prize (like a gift certificate) but I'm not sure and it really doesn't matter...I was very pleased to get this award!

It certainly made up for the huge long line at the curly fry booth, which impelled us to select another booth for our dinner. On the way out, though,we found a double secret curly fry booth that we'll hit the next time we're there.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shout Out!!

little bits of sock love
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Hey! Look what came in the mail! Little balls of sock yarn!

Thanks Alyssa!!
Seeing someone else's choices in sock yarn is so much fun...Alyssa is much more bold in her color choices, which is very inspiring. It is easy to see how her choices will fit together with my choices, though, and I can hardly wait to start some new squares for my sock blanky.

I'm still interested in getting more sock yarn: if you have leftovers let me know (info to the right in the sidebar).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

One-fifth done

lady e #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is Lady E, two skeins down and eight more to go. So far she's about 13 inches long...she needs to gain a bit in blocking to have it be 70" at the end, but that will probably happen.

I didn't check the dye lots, but I think I ahve two different ones in the skeins that I purchased (from someone on ebay). One of the brown squares made from skein 2 is definitely more greeny brown than the squares made from skein 1. Luckily it all looks pretty good together so i'm not going to worry about it too much. I really am enjohing this...and wondering if it will be done before we leave on vacation in two weeks? We'll see (probably not, but you never know).

Today we went to the Scandanavian Festival in Junction City, a little town of 5000 about a dozen miles North of Eugene. It was a pretty typical street fair with vendors, food, entertainment, but with a scandanavian theme (surprised?). Therefore, the rib and chicken booths are named 'rib and chicken' in both english and in some scandanivian language that uses the 'o's with the slashes through them. The universal Funnel Cake was there too. The vendors all have to wear scandanavian dress, and most of the little kids dress up too. It is a nice change from the tie-dye and dreadlock atmosphere of most Eugene street fairs.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Reading

I haven't found any terrific books this summer, unlike last year with the new Harry Potter book and "The Historian". I'm even thinking about re-reading "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" but that might be a book that isn't as good as the second time as the first. Oh well. I did enjoy "The Eight" by Katherine Neville, which was a nice, intellectual break during my "DaVinci Code Wannabe" a thon.

I just finished a book called "The Abortionist's Daughter" that I really liked. It was very much in the style of Chris Bohjalian, another writer who takes on serious topics from a 'this is what happens to an individual' point of view. Part murder mystery and part study of a daughter and her parents, it really sucked me in.

I also enjoyed two non-fiction books, but these might not be to everyone's taste. First was a book called "Hard Sell", which was written by a former prescription drug salesman of what it is like to be, well, a drug salesman. Since my academic research addresses drug advertising, it was interesting to read more about that side of the industry. Second was a book called "Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be", which is a memoir by Jen Trynin, who was/is an 'indie' recording artist who was 'wooed' by a number of record companies in the mid-90s and was destined to be the 'next big alternative rock chick'. It's her story of a very crazy year, and as you probably haven't heard of her you might imagine how it ends. I think Alanis Morrisette ended up being 'the next big...' of that year.

So, I'm still looking for good books if you have any thoughts!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You KNEW I would!

lady e #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Start Lady Eleanor's Shawl, that is.

The minute I read a comment from Ling that she had the yarn for this (Noro Silk Garden, which is what I have too) I knew that I had to get started on this beauty. I love entrelac...I did the French Market Bag and am happy about doing another entrelac piece. I love that it just grows in a beautiful way.

This Silk Garden is colorway 84, in reds and brown and a bit of purple. This seems perfect for fall. I don't really love Noro colors, but I like this one. And it was much more cost efficient to use this than to use the 'recommended' yarn (La Lana wool which costs, I believe, your first born child and a puppy too). (I love La Lana Wool, I really do. But honestly. Ka ching).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I Guess a 'Before' Picture Would Help!

dining room
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is a picture of our newly painted dining room. we're really happy with how it turned out, especially considering what it looked like before.

Before: the color below the chair rail was a dark pinky purple. Apparently it matched the wallpaper that was above the chair rail, which the previous homeowners removed to sell the house. So above the chair rail, the wall was white-ish with hunks of dried glue and wallpaper bits that they couldn't remove. It was pretty awful. But it is funny how you can ignore something for eight years until one day you have enough.

So now, below the chair rail is a pretty blue-grey color, almost a Williamsburg blue, which matches the chairs and sofa in teh living room which is adjacent to the room. Above is a warm cream color, with yellow undertones, that is so comforting a color. We really like how it turns out.

We primed Friday night (to cover the dark purply pink) and then spent all of yesterday painting, with minimal mishaps and maximum contentment. Our initial panic (this color looks yellow! this color looks grey!) quicklly subsided as we saw how nicely the colors dried and complemented (sp?) each other. All in all, as good of a day as one can have when painting.

Friday, August 04, 2006

One down, one and a half to go

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished one more afghan square for the afghan that I've been working on for 20 months.

Question for readers: what is your longest WIP? In terms of time it has been a WIP?

Anyway. I was reorganizing the stash a bit preparing for the influx of cotton ease, and counted up my afghan squares. I was surprised that I have 18 full squares done, and one square that needs the border added. So I only have one additional square to finish for the afghan.

Now, you'd think this would send me into the Encore pile and get casting on for square 20. But I haven't. Mostly because it means that I'll have to then put the whole darn thing together, and then knit on the pretty twisty cable border, and the whole thing will be beautiful but I just don't want to do it right now.

I want to cast on for Lady Eleanor.

I feel right now that there is sooooo much I want to knit in the stash right now (yay) and that I wouldn't do the afghan with knitterly joy, just with the feeling that I must finish because I must finish. You know? So...I think I'll wait for that last burst of inspiration to finish the afghan.

Phew! Feel better now.

Not much knitting will be done this weekend, as we paint our dining room. Our house has not been painted since it was build (13 years) and we are slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y) getting around to painting all the rooms. We've done one so far (in May of 2005). At the rate we're going, we'll finish, um, later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Today is my two year blogiversary. This morning, I went back and read my posts from August of 2004. Things have changed at Kim Knits, and mostly for the better (imho). This reflects not only my improved knitting skills (I had only been knitting for about six months when I started blogging) as well as my comfort level with blogging.

To state the obvious, people have all kinds of reasons for blogging. I started blogging as simply a way to track my knitting progress. And now I find that it has connected me with knitters all over the world (hi Ling! hi Bonnie!) and knitters in my backyard (hi Jodie! hi Sheila!). We're all so different, with so many pulls on our time and our energy, yet we all have this crazy knitting thing in common that transcends all the crazy differences and brings us together. That's pretty cool.

I've always been very conscious of the difference between my 'public' self and the 'private' self. I'm not a huge fan of blogs that don't recognize this difference (not that there are that many out there). I always feel weird when I complain or bitch or gripe about something...since I know that I am incredibly lucky to have the life I have and that every day is a gift. I'm going to try to remember that in my non blogging life too!

So here we go: year 3 of my blog. Thanks for reading it, and for being part of my knitting world.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Log Cabin Foundation

log cabin 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been taking a bit of time every day to work a little on the log cabin blanket (made from sock yarn), and it is finally starting to look like something. Here it is: it is about 6" by 12" right now (remember, it is sock yarn) and I like how it looks. I didn't plan out the color changes, I'm just looking for colors that look good next to eachother, and so far it seems to be working ok.

I also cast on for Widdershins using some INterlacements Tiny Toes that I bought at Stitches West. I'm not sure I have enough of this for a pair of socks for Tim, so the toe up pattern is a good choice for this one. So far (and I've only done the toe) so good on those.

I'm also trucking along on my cotton ease cardigan (it is now a big blue blog or I'd show it to you). I've also discovered an entire Yahoo group dedicated to cotton ease. Leave me a comment if you want more info on this!