Monday, October 30, 2006

Lots of Wips


sleeves.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We returned from our weekend trip to San Jose...Tim's sister Candace, the incredible knitter, had a birthday open house and we joined Tim's parents and his brother Paul to be part of the fun. The weather was incredibly warm, which was such a treat. In addition to the open house (and my bil Bill's incredible food, that man can cook a mean chicken wing) we also got to spend some time with our nephew Stephen, who is 16 and just a terrific kid. We're so lucky that he doesn't mind spending an hour or two with his Ancient Aunt and Uncle. We also spoke (via phone) with Stephen's sister, our niece Jean, who is having a great time her first semester at college. We missed having her there, but hearing the pure happiness in her voice more than made up for it.

And knitting? You want some knitting?

I did finish the Rogue Sleeves, actually bound them off about 40 miles south of Eugene on our way home. I now have the front neckline and the hood, and then I'm done. I love this.


onecentralair.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished my first Central Aire (and yes, those holes are supposed to be there). I also got a good start on the second one, and have the leg about 2/3 done. It was fun to sit around and knit with Candace, she was working on Jaywalkers in gorgeous colors.


newstr.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And finally, the new sock yarn from the STR club arrived today and I LOVE THIS YARN AND THIS COLORWAY! Did you hear me? I love it! The pattern is good too. So I'll start these just as soon as I get those Central Aires done. Not enough knitting time in the day, is there?

So it was a good weekend if a bit short for driving about 1200 miles round trip. But I got a lot of good knitting time in. And the dogs had fun with their puppy cousins Casey and Gus. So a good time was definitely had by all.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

frustration!

Do you ever post something on blogger to have it not really disappear, but not show up on your blog? It is in your 'edit posts' list but it isn't showing up?

Anyway, that's what is up with me. We're in NoCal and I've made a couple of posts but they haven't shown up. Grrrr.

But more tomorrow, just didin't want you guys to think I forgot about you!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bad Blogger

It ate my post.

Anyway...we're in California and minimal knitting is being done. More soon.

Travelling and Knitting...

..really don't go together too well, at least for me.

I'm blogging today from the Los Gatos Lodge in Los Gatos, California...and I don't think we'll even have time for a yarn store trip. :-(. We're here to celebrate my sister-in-law Candace's birthday (it's a monumental one) and much of Tim's family has gathered. We left Thursday evening and drove part way, and then drove the rest of the way yesterday. I probably finished about 5 inches on the sleeves of Rogue, and did about an inch or two more of Central Aire last night. I can sort of, but not really, knit in the car...it starts to bother my back pretty quickly. And I get car sick which of course adds to the fun.

We did bring audiobooks to listen to and listened to a pretty funny book by Amy Sedaris called "I Like You'. It's not great literature but it did give us some excellent ideas about Tip Jars.

Hope your weekend is good!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

60 Days til Christmas


another washcloth
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Thanks for all the kind words about my issues with lace. I was ready to frog the whole thing yesterday but after reading comments this morning I decided not to frog...yet. But it will be put away for a while.

I've done lace NOT with lace weight...I've done branching out, cats paw, some socks with lace...but nothing with lace weight. Maybe I'm having problems with that. I also don't think I do yo's correctly..I think often I end up with a few extra stitches after a yo. So. My thought right now is to take a lace knitting class....maybe at Madrona next January or at the BSG in June.


crochet wire
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
So, in my 'I"m a miserable lace knitter" mood yesterday, I decided to finish up a Christmas gift and knit a washcloth out of Cotton Chenille. I've knit one already, and the gift is for my BIL's gf who is working on an online degree in accounting as well as working full time. I thought I'd give her a 'bubble bath' kit which will include two washcloths, bubble bath, and two votive candles. I crocheted this bead and wire accent for the votives, which I think looks very cool.

I learned how to crochet with wire this morning (!!!) from Annie Modesitt's new book, "Twist and Loop". It's a fun book.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Me and Lace. Not so much.

I was hoping I'd be able to show you the start of a beaded lace shawl today, but alas, it is not meant to be.

I really like the Lattice Lace Wrap and got all excited about the beads and everything. I have some beautiful jaegerspun yarn and the beads, and I learned how to add the beads one by one using a teeny tiny crochet hook.

And so I started. And you know what? Seven rows into the lace pattern I"m all screwed up. I have too many stitches in one section and not enough in another (and no, it's not supposed to be this way). And believe me, this is not the first time it has happened. I just don't get the hang of yarn overs. And counting. And knitting three or four together.

And it's too bad. I want to do some of Nancy Bush's beautiful scarves, but alas, I just don't think it is meant to be.

I love, love, love me some cables. I think maybe I should just admit I'm not a lace girl and focus on being the Best Darn CAble Knitter that I can be. But this admitting defeat thing does not sit well with me, which makes me want to go back and try again, which means I'll just get even more screwed up (yes, I've been down that road before).

And I could make socks out of all that lace yarn in my stash, couldn't I?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rogue Update


IMG_0108.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I don't know why it is so hard to take a picture of this sweater...without the flash it looks blue, and with the flash it looks sort of drab. Anyway, lookee here...much of the Rogue is done. I've done the whole body up to the sleeve part and the entire back. I'm also almost done with the pattern on the sleeves, so I can knit the boring stockinette part on our car trip this week. It's so pretty, I really like this pattern.

And I'll have something to show you hopefully tomorrow or the next day, my next attempt not only at lace, but lace with beads. Crazy talk from me, I know, but I am jonesing for a beaded lace shawl (for absolutely no good reason except I want to do it).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Getting out the Votives


votives
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Get it? It's a pun.

Anyway, I completed another Christmas gift: four votive candles with wire and bead knit coverings. This is an Annie Modesitt pattern from the beautiful book "Handknit Holidays", and are destined (I think) for my SIL Sue.

They look a bit better in person, the beads are greyish-purplish-pinkish-metallic and are really quite pretty, not the little dark polka dots that the picture shows. The wire is silver. As a group, these look pretty good.

But, if you're thnking about these:

1. wire is a pain in the butt to knit with. My fingers were pretty much raw by the time I finished these.

2. as I've said before, these walk a fine line between cool looking and seaside-giftshop-tacky. They look better as a group.

3. the book suggests 26 gauge wire (I think), but I'd go for a higher gauge, which will be easier to knit with. Not that easy is a word to describe wire.

Anyway, I'll get some silver votives and these should be a nice gift. If she doesn't like the bead stuff she can just take that off and have a nice set of votives.

We've been enjoying one of last nice weekends here in Oregon. We went on a hike to Spencer's Butte yesterday with several co workers of Tim's who were in town from NYC. The hike sort of exhausted me, which is a wake up call that I need to get into a little better shape. So I'm planning a few visits to the Rowing Machine to get me started.

Other than this, I'm almost done with the back of the Rogue and will hopefully get the sleeves on the needles so I'll have something to work on during the 16 hour car trip that's coming up.

I hope your weekend was good!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sock Schizophrenia


central air
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The yarn says fall, the pattern says spring.

Oh well.

It's the "Central Air" pattern using the "Tatiana" yarn from the STR Rockin' Socks Club...the September Yarn (and no, I haven't used the July yarn yet, yikes). The yarn is a mix of some interesting fall colors, and the pattern is a great lace rib which I love.

Yes, you heard it hear folks, I love some lace. Even though it is like the easiest lace pattern ever invented.

Anyway. It's a delight to be knitting with STR after a brief break. I'm not totally in love with the colors, but they're growing on me as some of the STR colors tend to do.

Plus I'll enjoy putting this into the blanket. Cause it will go wtih everything.

Anyway. i'm reading a great book: "Across the Nightingale Floor" by Lian Hearn. I'm not sure where I found out about this book, it is the first one in a 4-book series that is sort of epic, sort of romantic, sort of mystical, and very well written. It remind me of that great Japanese movie that I can't think of the name now...you know, where people flew around a lot. Help me remember the name!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Widdershins!


IMG_0090.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
After several months of being on the needles, Tim's Widdershis are done. These are living up to their name, as they have been enchanted (and not in a good way) by the Faieries. It has taken forever to do them, as they continually have fallen off the needles for no darn good reason. And I have pretty mixed feelings about the sock in general.


IMG_0091.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.

Here's a close up of the cable. I loved the pattern, it is a beautiful cable pattern and I used Judy's magic cast on for the toe which I also loved. Toe up, which I love, except I'm sort of disenchanted with short row heels. The yarn was nice to work with (Toasty Toes) but I don't like the colors at all (Tim wanted some 'forest green' socks, so I picked it up with this in mind). Isn't it funny...when you don't like the colors you're working with, it can really affect the project?

So I immediately cast on for a new pair of socks for ME using STR. I really should do a Christmas present but oh well.

So that's my celebration of NKW for yesterday: done widdershins. And keep your fingers crossed that the faieries leave me alone!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rogue and Rain


IMG_0087.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Today is the first official day of winter in Oregon...it's raining. Hard. I spent some of the day on I-5 driving in some pretty serious downpours, so I can attest, winter is here.

I'm on sabbatical til April...that means that I have an extended period of time where I'm not expected to do any University business...no teaching, no faculty meetings, no committee work. I put in a proposal...to write a book...and that is what I've been doing since the new semester started. It's hard for me, though, to totally break off, and I've probably spent a day per week on University business (today it was visiting a very generous alumni donor) but I really have to stop that. I'm so protective over my 'space', though, it is a hard thing to do.

But anyway. Knitting Week! On Sunday I celebrated by sharing a technique (Judy's magic cast on) with an Internet knitting friend (Hi Carol!). Today I celebrated by finishing a vest and deciding to send it to Afghans for A fghans (they're looking for vests for Afghan winters).

Here's a picture of my just-started Rogue...it's a pullover knit in the round with these terrific cables on the sides. I'm loving, LOV.ING. the Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool that I"m working with (who knew? Lion Brand makes a fabulous yarn! Fisherman's Wool! Lanolin included!!).
I haven't knit in a worsted wool for a while...I've been doing a lot of stuff wtih cotton, and with fingering/sock yarn, so I haven't knit anything with this type of wool for a while...and come to think of it (breathe, Kim, breathe) the last wool I used was elann peruvian wool which, while nice, isn't as nice as Fisherman's wool. Must be the Lanolin!

Anyway...i'im babbling. How are YOU celebrating?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

National Knitting Week!

Did you know this week (10/14-10/21) is National Knitting Week?

Like many wonderful things, it is a British idea (http://www.nationalknittingweek.co.uk/) which makes me love the thought even more.

So, I'm going to try to Celebrate every day of National Knitting Week in some way. I'll KIP, I'll give something away or maybe I'll just have a little Knitting party all by myself. Not sure. But I'd love to hear YOUR ideas on how to celebrate NKW! Or how I should celebrate NKW!

Today I KIP at the Home Show while I was waiting for Tim to talk to a guy who does a special building technique. A gentleman came up and asked if he could take my picture while I was working (I guess he wanted my head down and not to see my face). I happily obliged. I don't think he was a creepy person...he was from a Foreign Land and probably just wanted a momento of Crazy American Knitter Lady trying to put a sock that fell off the needles back on the needles.

Doncha think?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Building my log cabin..


lc#2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
..one little block at a time.

Here is square #2...made almost exclusively from yarn sent in by my blog readers and other knitters. Thanks all! It is soooo fun to sample all the different yarns, colors, etc...and it has resulted in a square that I would never have put together on my own, but that I absolutely love all the same.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In which I look Father Christmas in the eye and say..


ho ho ho a gift
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
HA!

Yes, another Christmas gift is completed. This is for my MIL...who has mentioned several times over the past few weeks how much she likes the felted oven mitt that I made for her last Christmas. So I took this as a hint, and decided to knit her another set for this Christmas. Trust me, she enjoys a practical gift.

Tim suggested Christmas colors, so I searched through the stash and found some Top of the Lamb from my early knitting days. It is sport weight, and I had a couple colors of red and a couple colors of green, which makes sort of rustic/textured/hiking sock type colors. These should felt up into some really pretty kitchen things. So, another one down.

The other day, Tim strung beads onto wire for me to try to knit some votive candle holders, so I'll be trying that soon too.

And for those of you who are anxiously tracking my progress of "Seasons of Mist and Mellow Fruitfullness"...a lace shawl I started, oh, when I was six....it is ripped. R.I.P. I cleaned out my knitting basket and found that half of it....including the half with the row counter...was off the needles. And the row counter was gone. I took this as a sign from above that I am meant for better lace things. And I do have a few things in mind. We'll see. I want to start Rogue tomorrow (yes, I'm a bit behind the knitting curve) and am trying to keep myself to one big and a couple small projects at a time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This Just Might....


one more
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
..be the last square for the Aran Afghan...I haven't counted in a while but it might just be. I did the 'inside' of this square a while ago, and then messed up the first time I tried to knit the border. Thus, it was put away for a bit. I finished the border and just now sewed it on, and here it is. There's a bit of a 'design element' in the lower right hand corner, but my thought is that when looking at a 20-square afghan a little design element here and there isn't going to hurt anything.

We had a nice weekend, the weather was gorgeous and we spent a bit of time roaming around 'downtown' Eugene yesterday afternoon. Friday night we went to our local high school's homecoming football game...the son of our friends Deb and Dan plays on the team (he's an offensive linesman I think? But honestly, what do I know). That was fun, and very little has changed in high school games since I was there other than 1. it costs $5 to get in (but maybe that was because of the lights?) and 2. Once you leave you can't get back in (I guess to discourage high school student mischief). Anyway, the Axemen lost against the Cavemen (not kidding on the names) but it was still a fun time.

I've been working on another Log Cabin Square (its gawgeous, made of all the yarn sent in by lovely visitors to my blog) as well as still widdershins-ing and getting ready to start on another Christmas present. I'm reading a terrific book, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" which is terrific (Alyssa, hon, read this book).

So life, as usual, is good.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Smell a Christmas Gift!


placemats
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It has been a frazzled couple of days for me and I apologize for not delighting you with my amusing and entertaining posts (ha HA!).

Looky! Christmas gifts! Or gift, singular. These are placemats for my Mom. I have been stashing Paton's 'bella' yarn, a super bulky yarn, for an afghan for my mom but have recently come to the conclusion that a. she won't like an afghan and b. I don't want to make her an afghan. So I used three colors of the yarn to make her a set of placemats (she lives alone and doesn't even have a dining room table, so two is all she needs). I designed these myself: it's linen stitc alternating a different color for every yarn. The pattern is different on either size...woven on one side (left hand placemat) and sort of honeycombed on the other (right hand placemat). And these went lickety split due to the super bulky nature of the yarn (yet...the placemats themselves don't feel bulky. Magic).

I like them, and might make some for us (but NOT with this yarn in these fally colors. Mom lives in Arizona and this sort of describes her color scheme).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Intrepid Alaska Explorers


intrepid Alaska explorers
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
On our cruise, we met Eleanor and Karin Duncker, a mother and daughter from New York who were funny and smart and just a pleasure to be with. Eleanor is an artist who kept a journal during the trip. I spied her painting a tiny illustration of some passengers in the dib boat and thought it was just delightful. Tim asked her to paint us a larger version of it, and here 'tis.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October


stella
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Nothing says October and the return of fall like a little black cat snuggling down amidst the bedclothes. This is our seizure kitty, Stella, who doesn't show up on the blog very often since it isnt' that easy to take photos of black cats. She's not very well socialized, and doesn't reall y hang out wiht us very much. Once the weather turns, though, she likes to snuggle down on our pillows and last night, for the first time in months, I woke up in the middle of the night and Stella was snuggled down between us.

I can't tell you how happy this makes me!

lori socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee.


And I finished the Crown Mountain Farms socks using the yarn I got from Lori . These are very comfy cozy socks, and number two knit up very quickly. Love them. Thanks again Lori!

So. Guess what. I completed half of my Mom's christmas gift this weekend! So I'll post that as soon as I get the second half finished. I also got a very broad hint from my MIL as to what she would like for Christmas, so that can be started pretty soon too. I feel like I'm a bit more on top of the Christmas gift picture than I used to be.

Not bad for the beginning of October.