Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Happy Clappy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim's sister Candace and our niece and nephew Jean and Stephen left yesterday after spending a few soggy days in Oregon. We had fun...good food, a little bowling, and knitting and chatting with Candace, who is really one of the best knitters I know.

I spent a lot of time working on my second Clapotis, modeled in this picture by Juneau's nose. This is such a fun yarn. I'm doing a narrower clappy so it will be more of a scarf than a shawl, and the colors just look so cool together. I'm probably halfway through it right now.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
My current 'mindless knitting' project is a sock using some yarn that came in the mail about a week ago. It is merino-tencel by the Yarn Pirate and the colorway is called Icicle. It is a perfect mix of colors for winter: white, blues and greys, and it is just so pretty I could hardly wait to cast on. This is just a basic, run of the mill sock, nothing special or fancy. The yarn is so soft and enjoyable to knit!

So, have you made any knitting resolutions for 2008? I'm afraid to go check my ones for this year, but let's take a deep breath and see what I wanted to do this year before I tell you mine for next year.

OK, so a year ago I wanted to:

1. knit from stash: hmm. I did OK on that one, but not great.
2. do some designing. hmm. That bug is gone, not sure what I was thinking.
3. do some charity knitting. Which I did. I knit several chemo caps for little kids and did a charity blanket with Jodie.

So this year:

1. Knit from stash.
2. Knit gloves.
3. Knit argyle socks.

Off we go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gifts Given and Received

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Happy Boxing Day! We are celebrating by cleaning the house and awaiting the arrival of family from Northern California for a few days.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas, which included a nice Winter's nap and much Eating of Leftovers, and of course opening of gifts, a few of which I'd like to share with you!

First, the 'mystery gift' for Tim...a Huggable Hedgehog. He had seen one as an avatar at Ravelry, and thought it was cute. I bought a kit from somewhere...maybe Paradise fibers? And it knit up quite a bit bigger than I thought it would. But it is Huggable. Tim likes it.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Our Christmas gift to the dogs is the opportunity to sleep in bed wtih us on Christmas eve. I use the word "opportunity' because it usually gets a bit crowded and warm for them (and needless to say, for us) and usually they opt out at some time during the night. This Christmas Eve, Juneau opted out right away (but loved the jumping from floor to cushion to right in between us). Cody slept with us all night, and as usual it was a bit warm and crowded but I'm happy he stayed with us all night. His Christmas gift to us was, of course, being here for Christmas.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I received some lovely gifts, including handmade jewelry (by my talented husband!) and here are some of the knitting gifts I received (I'll post his jewelry in another post). A skein of Curious Creek Sock yarn from our NoCal family (in Duck colors!). two sets of point protectors, and a cool set of african-themed buttons that I have just the yarn for (Rowan felted tweed, in treacle).

clappy #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And finally, my second clappy, made with the new Effekts yarn from Kaunia. The colors seem almost airbrushed on. I'm doing a narrower clappy so this will be more of a scarf than a shawl, and the color changes look really cool with the drop stitches. I really enjoy knitting clappy, and I"ve been ignoring my other projects (sorry other projects).
So there you have it. How was your Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Wishes!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
From everyone at our house to everyone at yours...Merriest of Merry Christmases!

We honestly didn't think our Cody dog would be sharing this Christmas with us, but he is a fighter, and he is enjoying his 11th Christmas with us. In his puppy years, he had to stay in the kitchen behind a baby gate because he became a bit overwhelmed at Christmas. Now he gets his Greenie and is happy as a Christmas clam all day. And the rumor this year is that Santa is bringing sliders for Cody and his sister Juneau.

So we have a lot to celebrate this Christmas: a warm house filled with love and sliders and Greenies and all other manner of Christmas treats. Enjoy the day!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

You know what this means!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the sleeves to my House Sweater.... it just me, or are you the type of knitter that when s/he gets sort of close to finishing something, s/he just obsessively knits on that one thing to get it done? Because that is what I did with these sleeves...

....and that means that (while I still need to assemble it), I can cast on for something else!

And that means small projects!! I have four small projects in mind:

-a mini-Clapotis with my Kauna yarn (cast on: check)
-socks with beautiful new Yarn Pirate Yarn (cast on: check)
-argyles (not yet, but chomping at the bit to cast on) and
-gloves! I've never knit gloves but I think it would be a great use for all my sock yarn that must begin to be used up. I'm going to use some of the STR in the Raven collection that is black-blue-blackish.

And yes, I have a sweater and another pair of socks on the needles but still. I finished sleeves!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Solstice!

Won't it be nice to have some sunnier days? Well, here in Western Oregon, I guess it is more truthful to say some days that are less dark than they are now.

Not much knitting to show, because I'm in a sleeve vortex and I've just been knitting stockinette sleeves for the past few days. I'm on the sleeve caps so the end is near. I have a bad case of startitis because the Effekts yarn just arrived, as did some beautiful yarn from the Yarn Pirate that is just calling out to be made into socks.

And I have a hankering to do a pair of argyle socks (why? why?). Luckily there is plenty in the stash for infinite numbers of pairs.

We went out to look at the Christmas lights last wasn't raining, and it was likely to be the only night before Christmas with no rain. We took the dogs, and Juneau was not happy. She hid on the floor of the car and was just miserable. She didn't perk up until we were back on our street. As I think about her time with us, I realize we had never taken her out to the car in the dark before...she had been in the car in the dark, but she started driving while it was still daylight. I think when her old family left her they must have taken her out in the dark and dropped her somewhere, and she might have been remembering this. She is extremely clingy today which is fine, and I wish she could understand how much we love her and how we'd never do that to her, o or to any other member of our family.

Give your dogs and cats and birds and bunnies and, oh, your iguanas and your chincillas hugs from all of our fur and feather babies on this Solstice day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh, just a bunch of stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Happy Birthday Erin Leann Hackstadt, who was born this morning to our great friends Steve and Jen! We can hardly wait to meet you!

2. I cast on for the Diamond Aran sweater, and included a picture of the Stepford Vogue Knitting model so you can see what it will look like someday.

3. Yes, it is pretty much the same color as my House Sweater. Oops.

4. I do love the yarn I'm using: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK.

5. Why is it that when I fall in love with a yarn, it is immediately discontinued?

6. We made our first batch of Christmas cookies last night. Ho Ho Ho!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Could anything be harder to photograph..

Originally uploaded by kbshee
..than a wimple?

Here is my Ice Queen (aka my Wine Queen) from Knitty, made with cashmere/silk yarn. It is a pretty simple feather and fan pattern in the round,with little beads sprinkled through here and there. If I wasn't still in pj's I'd take a picture of this 'in action' for you, but I am so I won't.

This was a very quick and fun knit, and given that I have a lot of kidsilk haze and beads in the stash I will knit this one again. I like to have a little something around my neck and this is just the thing. I think it would also make a lovely gift for someone, and it was fun and fast fast fast to knit (did I mention that?). Probably will skip the picot bind off as well as the provisional cast on, since I don't think that adds a lot to it and it was a pain in the butt. What is the stretchiest cast on you know? Is it the tubular cast on? I'll have to give that one a try.


Originally uploaded by kbshee
We had a bit of a holly jolly weekend. We finished decorating the tree, and we also got most of our cards ready for mailing. The big fun, though, was decorating a gingerbread house for our friends Steve and Jen. They are expecting their second bambina any day now (hopefully tomorrow) and we thought it would be a fun decoaration for them to have (and practical too! Gingerbread!). I picked up a decorating kit from Michael's and while our final effort looks nothing, NOTHING, like the Martha-Stewart-esque fantasies in the brochure that comes with the kit, we were pretty pleased with the outcome. When in doubt, stick more stuff on it! That's our Gingerbread House motto!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In Which I Finish some Stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yesterday I was determined to finish several outstanding projects. The fan bag, as you see here, was not that big of a deal to finish...I added the leather straps, and also put in a plastic canvas to keep the bottom shaped. And then I took this incredibly artistic (snort) picture of the bag in the mirror in the bathroom so you could see more than one side. It really is a cool looking bag. And did I mention it was fun to make? I'm almost afraid to start carrying it because if it, oh I don't know, falls apart of something I would be very sad. But I think I have to take this bag outside sooner or later.

This other project was a little longer in the UFO pile. I think I finished this sweater, the Cabernet Ribs sweater from IK, last winter some time. It looks in this picture like a basic black sweater, and that might make you wonder why I couldn't get off my butt and finish it.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The challenge is (or was) that the sleeves were knit in a laceweight mohair blend (I think you were probably supposed to use KSH, which I didn't) and there is also a vneck insert that is made of the same yarn. The body of the sweater is a basic black yarn held with the laceweight. So it was sort of a pain to sew up the sleeves, and also the vneck insert needed a bit of tightening up after the fact. So it wasn't really a daunting task, just one that wasn't much fun. But it is now done. And here it is.

So this has been sitting on my dresser for months, and now it is happily in a drawer. What this means is that I can cast on for the Diamond Aran as soon as I finish up Tim's present, which will be today or tomorrow!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It looks better in person

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Trust me.

This is 'ice queen', from Knitty. Instead of KSH as suggested in the pattern, I'm using Cashmere/Silk from Zen Yarn Garden . This yarn was the first yarn from the Sumptuous Sock Club. Anyway...there are also very pretty little beads here and there on this, and it is a fast knit (I cast on when, two days ago?). And fun to do. This yarn is really incredible to work with.

Today my theme is finishing. I need to put the handles on the Fan Bag (yes, they arrived yesterday, thanks Jimmy Beans), finish Tim's holiday surprise, and, um, sew the sleeves on a sweater I finished about a year ago. Yep. You read that right. I'm a slacker. It's the 'Cabernet Something" from IK. It has been sitting on my dresser for mumbmumblemumble and I need to finish it if for no other reason than to put it away and have it not live on the dresser anymore.

Plus I think I will cast on for the Diamond Aran (see list below) Because you can't have too many projects in the works, can you?.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Second-to-Last Picture of the Fan Bag!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I promise!

So, here it is in all its felted glory. It really did turn out beautifully, and I don't say that about a lot of things I do. I ordered a pair of handled from Jimmy Bean's, and I need to cut a circle of cardboard to keep the round shape at the bottom, but other than that the fork has been stuck in it.

Yesterday morning I wound some yarn (and Smooshy? Disaster) while I was trying to figure out what to make next (see list below). I axed the Celtic Tote for now, because while I love it, I, um, just made a tote. A trip to Michael's ended up with the purchase of some little beads, so I decided to jump into Ice Queen using the Cashmere/Silk yarn that is part of the Sumptuous Sock Yarn Club and really too beautiful to wear for socks. I was sort of surprised to see that there are only about 80 rows to be knit to do Ice Queen, and I did about 20 yesterday, so it should be a lickety split knit. And then on to the sweater.

If Ice Queen works out, it might be a good knit for Christmas gifts for next year, since Lord knows I have the yarn for it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


So I finished the fan bag last night, will felt today or tomorrow along with Secret Holiday Giftee.

Next? What next?

Here are my choices:

1. Diamond Aran sweater from Vogue American Collection (no picture, but very pretty)
2. Celtic tote from new IK: here
3. Jeanie from knitty here
4. Ice Queen from Knitty

I have the yarn I need for any of these projects. What to do? What to do?
And did I mention I have a bit of sock yarn saved up too?

Monday, December 10, 2007

House Sweater!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yes, I do knit things other than the felted fan bag.

Which, by the way, is almost done. I'm on the decrease rounds and it looks great. Can't wait to felt it. Now I'm searching for a good source for leather straps.

But I digress. The House Sweater, from Charmed Knits, is my 'mindless knitting' project that I work on when I'm reading or just too tired to make Little Fans. I finished the front last night and, through the magic of short rows, did a three-needle bind off to join the front to the back.

The pattern itself calls for binding off to do shoulder shaping, but that often makes for a sloppy (for me) shoulder seam so I decided to improvise some short rows and then do a three needle bind off. So far, so good!

Of course, now I move into the impossible land of the Sleeve Vortex, not my favorite place to be, ah well.

This weekend was an odd mix of holiday prep and other stuff. The other stuff being: planting bulbs and weeding the front garden. Very odd to be planting bulbs underneath the Christmas lights. We also picked up our tree from Gray's Garden Center and put it in the stand in the living room. Now the whole house smells wonderfully Yuletide-y. We also wrapped a lot of gifts for out of town family this weekend: I'd post details but don't want to give away secrets. And speaking of secrets, I finished work on Tim's holiday step left. I can't tell ya what it is but if you're on Ravelry go check it out:

And it is the one with 'Holiday' in the title.

This morning I organized all my sock patterns, and now they're living happily in alphabetical order in a notebook on my desk. I'm pretty impressed with myself right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I have no more ideas for cute fan titles

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I guess it is a good thing that I'm winding down on my fan bag!

I'm working on what is the final 'full' row of fans, after this row I'll start doing some decreases to make the pretty rounded bottom that this bag has. Then to felt it! I really do enjoy the knitting on this bag, so much that nothing has been knit on anything else.

I'm wearing my Tangled Yoke cardigan today for the first time, it took a couple blockings to get the sleeves long enough and to get the neckline right, but it is perfect (well, as perfect as a sweater that I make can be) now.

I have a few more grades to figure out; I'm waiting for one of my grad assistants to finish her block of grading and then I can finalize some student grades. I have two research projects to work on during break but no deadlines for either of them, so I'm pretty loosey goosey for the next few weeks. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I realized I had never posted a picture of me wearing my finished Arwen, so here it is! My hair looks particularly good today too, so it is a good time to take a picture.

It is also a good time to show you this because there isnt a lot of other knitting getting done, due to busy-ness at school.

The sweater is held together by a beautiful closure that you can't see. But it was a gift to me from the artist. If you're looking for beautiful knitting gifts, visit Sheila and Michael Ernst's website here and check out the lovely things. The 'shawl closure' link will take you to the place on the site where you can see the beautiful closures that can be used for shawls or for sweaters like I'm wearing...these would be nice for a non-knitter on your list. And if you don't have one of their orifice hooks, or some of their glass needles, then put them on your list asap!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Fan Addict

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love making these little fans.

I've finished six rounds of fans...36 fans in total, and I still love working on this project. I love figuring out which color would look next to which other colors, and seeing how it all turns out once it is knit up. Three rounds left and then the decreases start, so still quite a bit of knitting on this bag.

I did a quick catalogue of my yarn yesterday to start to stash it all on Ravelry. I did all my sock club yarn and folks, I am all sock yarned up. Really. The decision not to rejoin several sock clubs was a good one.

Today the weather is cold and wet and windy and very, very gloomy, so I'm guessing I'll do a bit of reading and working on the House Sweater. And maybe organizing a bit more yarn.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Home Stretch

Classes are done, the final projects are almost all in, and I have one (multiple choice) exam to give on Tuesday and then a little grading push and I'm done. Hopefully in a week my grades will be all finished and I'll have a few weeks of 'quiet' (I have a chapter to finish, and books to read for next term, but other than that there should be plenty of knitting and reading time).

Not much knitting wise to show...I'm almost halfway through the front of my House Sweater but that's a bunch of boring stockintette. I think I've done three rounds of the stain glass bag and I'll do more tomorrow during the Duck game, and then I'll have some stuff to show you.

Have you seen the Kauni yarn? They have it on preorder at Webs and you can knit the famous Kauni Cardigan with it (Stephanie did one, here is a close up at her blog . I can't do this cardigan because a. steeks and b. colorwork but I do want to make something fabulous with the yarn. Oh yes, I bought some. Oops forgot to mention that. Anyway, some fun ideas on Ravelry so we'll see what I come up with.

But I really must stop buying yarn. I've dropped out of several sock clubs (bmfa, pick up sticks) not because I don't love the yarn, just because I'm drowning in sock yarn and need to, um, make some socks. I've been in a sweater mood which is not good (at least there really aren't any sweater clubs out there) (are there?).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Interestingly enough, it is my least favorite color

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Fun Fan Fan

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is fun knititng, my friends.

I rarely find knitting so 'fun' that I can't put it down and work on something else. But this is fun. I think it is the challenge of planning out the colors and then finding the right colors on the Noro skein, and that I can knit oneof the fans in about half an hour and have anothe rpuzzle piece completed.

It also makes me wonder about my self-imposed ban on most colorwork. I rarely wear colorful clothes, which limits my colorful knitting (except for socks, of course). But knitting this just makes me happy I think it working with all the gorgeous Noro colors (and I've never rhapsodized about noro before, even about my Lady E.). It is just so fun.

Did I mention it was fun?

Anyway, three of seven rounds now completed on this bag. We watched "Lawrence of Arabia" over the weekend and that movie is great for knitting something to which a tiny bit of attention must be paid. There's a lot of walking around the desert. It was so different than movies today, which was nice for a long weekend.

How was yours?

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm a Fan!

fan bag 1.0
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've had the yarn to cast on for the Felted Stained Glass Fan Bag for quite a fact, every since I saw it at Julia's blog and knew I had to knit this. I have a bunch of different colors of Noro Kureyon that I bought via various eBay sales and finally Monday night I cast on for this beauty. It is sort of like entrelac, only the shape is fans rather than squares. It is really quite ingenious, and incredibly beautiful (if I do say so myself). And honestly, it is so very fun to knit with bright colors for once!

We had a great Thanksgiving. As I mentioned before, we made dinenr for Steve and Jen on Wednesday and took it over there and shared an early Thanksgiving with Evan and his parents. Yesterday, we were lazy in the morning then watched the Dog Show at noon, put up some Christmas lights outside the house, walked the dogs, and then made paella. It was better than last year (which was too fishy) but the rice could use a bit more spice. Some knitting, particularly around the Dog Show, was accomplished.

Today we're off to the Holiday market (this is the first post-TG Friday Tim hasn't had to work in yonks) and then more relaxing! And tomorrow..go Ducks! Rose Bowl! Rose Bowl!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

House Sweater

house sweater
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I started my Ravenclaw House Sweater from the book Charmed KNits in Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold. The book has the sweater as a dark grey, but I ordered a light blue grey which I really like. Yes, it is miles upon miles of stockinette but that really isn't bad. When you're tried. And brain dead. It kinda works.

See the stripe? Lookie, friends, colourwork (snicker). There will also be stripes around the sleeve cuffs. Pretty crazy, eh?

So are you ready for Thanksgiving? Tim is making a dinner for our friends Steve and Jen that we'll take over tomorrow, and then we'll make our traditional Paella on Thursday. And chocolate volcanos. Volcanoes? Yum.

Anyway, happy thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Border without an Afghan

gaaa border
Originally uploaded by kbshee

I finally finished the border of the Great American Aran Afghan. It is basically a repeated cable all the way around with some short row corners. Anyway. It now needs to be a. blocked and b. sewn onto the afghan. I might try to tackle that over Thanksgiving, but maybe not.

It has been a busy week work wise,hence no posts. It's the 8th week of a ten week term, and we hosted two candidates for a job in my department. I am the chair of the search committee so I was pretty much the 'host' for the visit. Between making sure the candidates know where they are and making sure my colleagues show up and don't blow off their meetings, it can be pretty stressful. Add to that: one of my colleagues provided misinformation to one of the candidates about workload, and another candidate wanted some last minute changes in his schedule. Just sort of nutty.

I've been so pooped I've only been physically capable of knitting stockinette, and so my House Sweater in Elsebeth Lavold silky wool is progressing quite nicely. No work on my c and c sock for yonks, but will get back to it soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stella...just because...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Don't be afraid to read this post, because nothing bad has happened to Stella, our little black cat. It is just that I rarely get a nice picture of her where you can see her face, so when I do I want to show it off on my blog.

Oh yeah, her face? It is on the right hand side. Look for the ear and that's her head. Maybe the picture isn't so great.

Stella is doing well on her microdose of phenobarbital to help control her seizures. She had a seizure or two about three weeks ago, but has been seizure free since then. She is playing with Jessie Cat, biting Juneau's tail, and being a bit more interactive with us. She also has stopped some of her problematic litter box behaviors (or lack of litter box behaviors) which is nice. She'll never be a perfect cat but as long as she isn't tormented we feel she's doing fine.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Assembling Arwen

Originally uploaded by kbshee
As those of you who read my exciting post last night know, I finished the knitting on the Arwen last night and was excited to start putting it together today. Not. About the excited part. Anyway, I really don't like finishing things but that's just me.

I decided (with much input from Tim) that Arwen needs to be finished slowly when the mood strikes. So today, I grafted the top of the hood, sewed the back seem of the hood together, and sewed one of the sleeves together. I need to now:
-seam the second sleeve
-attach the back at the shoulders
-sew the bottom of the hood to the back
-sew the side seams (although the pattern does not tell you to do this)
-and finally, sew the seam at the bottom.


As you might have heard about this pattern, the sleeves are very narrow. Now I don't know about you, but the days of my buff upper arms are gone. Even so, I only measure about a foot around my upper arm. This sweater is about 13" around, but I'm hoping after I block the whole shebang that I can get a little room there. It will fit (with either a thin, tight t or a cami underneath) but I'd like it to be a bit roomier.

So next came the big decision: what to start next (even though I know I need to finish the @#$*& border of the Great American Aran Afghan and just get 'er done). I have the yarn for a House Sweater from Charmed KNits which should be pretty mindless, so I'm going to cast on for that. And then when the term ends, I'll start the Fan Bag and another cable sweater.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And it all just slowly falls apart

I'm having an 'I'm old" moment. Or maybe an "I'm old" week.

Last week, my tooth broke. Says the Dentist: "that's what happens when you get old". Saturday I wore my contact lens for a few hours too long, and woke up on Sunday with a painful and watery eye. Says the eye doctor: "as we age, we lose moisuture in our eyes, and can't tolerate our contacts as long." And in the past few days, my old dislocated shoulder injury has reminded me that putting on my bathrobe can be a very paintful experience. Old old old.

I know I'm complaining, when in fact I have nothing at all to complain about. I'm relatively healthy and relatively happy and have a relatively small number of grey hairs. People are still surprised when they find out I"m as old as I am. Heck, I don't feel nearly as old as I am. It is just those little reminders, sadly increasing in frequency, that become disheartening.

At least I can knit!

Monday, November 05, 2007

18 inches left!

other side of arwen
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the arm of the second side of Arwen, and all I have left is the half of hood...18 inches! That's maybe what, 5 or 6 repeats of the reversible cable pattern. Hooray!

I've enjoyed making Arwen a lot, because I like the cables and I love the yarn I'm using (Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply). But it has been a bit of a slog. Of course, I've put it down during some of the more intense work periods. This weekend, I worked on Arwen during the Ducks game (Go Ducks! They beat Arizona State quite handily) and during the Colts-Patriots game (boo!). No good games are on TV next week so I wonder if I'll get more Arwen done. :-)

I also had my last Saturday class in Portland, this one wasn't bad because it was only a 3 hour class. But still, I'm looking forward to not gettng up at 5:30 next Saturday morning. It was a good class with terrific students and I'll teach some more up in Portland either later this year or next fall.

In other knitting news: I'm about halfway done with the border for my Great American Aran Aghan. I would like to have the border finished by Thanksgiving weekend so I can finish that puppy up, we'll see. Of course, now I"m thinking about 'upcoming' projects, especially since I'll have a few weeks off at Christmas to get some good knitting done. At the top of my list are the House Sweater from Charmed Knits, the felted Fan bag, and another cable sweater from the Patons cable sweater book. Cant quite decide which to begin wtih but of couse I'll figure it out.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm doing little Christmas knitting this year: just a surprise knitted something for Tim.

My eye is a little wonky this morning (it was very bloodshot and watery yesterday, not so bad today but still not happy). Luckily I have my annual exam today so maybe she can figure out what is going on there.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A few days late...

halloween 2007
Originally uploaded by kbshee
...but not bad.

I think we were carving the pumpkins at 5pm on Halloween, but we did get them done and out into the front yard to welcome the hoards (or not) of kiddos coming by for Halloween. We had three groups: two little neighbor girls with parents at about 6:45, then two large groups of 5 or 6 kids at 8:15. So we now have quite a bit of chocolate etc left over, which is fine by us.

Another busy week (only 3.5 weeks of classes left, hooray for that and for thanksgiving) with meetings and visitors and whiney undergrads. But that is pretty much life as usual for me.

Not much knitting going on, I'm looking forward to two football games this weekend on TV. Tomorrow is my last Saturday class in Portland, so the last 5:30 am Saturday wake up call for a while. I'm so looking forward to that too!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

View from the back

c and c back
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished my first cables and corrugation socks, and I do love them. Here is the back of the sock...there is a plait going up the back that starts right above the heel. So pretty. The yarn, as you might recall, is Harmony Semi Solid from the Zen Yarn Garden, which is just wonderful to work with. I did the 'small' size sock and I could have probably done 50 instead of 56 stitches and have been just fine...but I'mnot sure if the yarn will shrink down a wee bit and if it does they'll fit perfectly. Even a little loose they're fine by me.

Happy Halloween, by the way! I've been so busy that I haven't had much time to think about it, although we do have pumpkins out in the front garden and candy in a basket in the kitchen. And what else do you need?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Congratulations Camille!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Camille won the random drawing for the 'what the heck is Kim knitting' contest. And what is it? It is the border to my Aran Afghan. I'll sew the border on to the completed squares that have all been sewn together. Camille will receive a lovely skein of sock yarn from Australia! When I dig it out of the sock yarn bin. Anyway, Camille, send me your mailing address to kbshee AT comcast DOT net and I'll post that in the mail to you.

Not much knitting has been going on, hence my recycled picture of my Arwen. Just kidding on that...actually it is the other side of the Arwen. I am about halfway done with the sleeve, so actually the end is sort of near. A few good weekends of football and it should be done.

I had an all day class on Saturday in Portland (one more to go, yee haw) and was pretty wasted yesterday. I did manage to chip one of my teeth (just to add to the excitement of my life) but luckily my dentist had an opening today and fixed me all up. But man. Just some peace and quiet, that is all I ask!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mystery Photo!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
What the heck am I knitting?

Leave your guess in the comments. I'll randomly select one winner from all the answers to receive a lovely knitterly prize. Really. Deadline is 4:00 PM, Pacific Time, on Monday 10/29. Good luck!

Cody had his final chemo treatment, and it is hitting him sort of hard. Hopefully he'll bounce back in a day or two. The ultrasound showed that the liver tumors haven't grown, but there's some other wonky stuff going on (nothing clearly cancerous though). So we'll do another ultrasound after Christmas if he seems up for it.

Which is good news. I really didn't think he'd be here through Christmas (and I'm still not 100% convinced) but he seems robust and in good health, so we'll just go with that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tell Me, Have You Ever Tried...

Originally uploaded by kbshee take a photograph of the bottom of your foot?

It isn't easy, I tell ya. But I wanted to take a picture of my Cables and Corrugations sole so you could see the genius way you do increases on this toe up sock patern. Look closely...there is a triangle that starts a few inches from the toe and grows over the foot to end at the heel. Isn't that cool?

And you know what? You could reverse the sock, and put the sole triangle on the top, and do a cool pattern in the triangle, and then micky with it and do the heel. It is just such a great idea. But then, you know what I think about Cat Bordhi in terms of rockiness.

Cody is at his (possibly) last chemo treatment and we'll have results of the ultrasound today. I'm very gloomy about this..not because of what the news will say (I mean, the best we can hope for is that the growth is slow) but that we've passed another milestone with him: at first we hoped he would just get through the surgery, then we hoped he would last long enough to go on vacation, then we hoped he would make it through all the chemo treatments. No more milestones/benchmarks left...just the final, sad one.

I'm still happy for the time we have with him, and that he still feels so good, it just gets harder and harder to see the bright side.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Swear, This is a Different Picture

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Of my TYC.

In this one, the sweater has buttons, and no little yarn tails crawling off of it.

It looks good. The sleeves are a weee bit short and a weee bit wide but I'm hoping with wear and some additional blocking those issues will resolve themselves. The neckline could be a weee bit tighter but that's life. It fits, it looks good, it is comfortable, and I like it.

Other than that, life continues to be busy. I'm teaching a class in Portland on three Saturdays, and yesterday was my first. Up at 5:30 am, drive for two hours in the rain, class (which went well), drive back in the rain. Not fun but lucrative, and I can put up with anything for three Saturdays!

You ARE on Ravelry, aren't you? Have you received a 'heart' yet? I must tell you, nothing has made me happier than seeing some 'hearts' appear on my project list. It makes me want to go spread the 'heart' love around.

Friday, October 19, 2007

C and C

Originally uploaded by kbshee
AKA "Cables and Corrugations".

This is my second sock from Cat Bordhi's book, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters." Anyone who reads my blog knows the esteem in which I hold Cat Bordhi. This sock does not disappoint. The pattern has a braided cable on the sides of the foot (and one will also up the leg), and the brads are offset by bands of purls. It would be pretty without the purls...and with a different cable (like an XO)..and one of the wild things about the book is that NOW I can go design the sock and KNIT IT with confidence since Cat has made it so easy to substitute whatever you want to do.

And the yarn. THE YARN! It is from Zen Yarn Garden, the Harmony collection of semi-solids, in soem of the purtiest pinks you ever did see. Beautiful yarn dyed by the Lovely Roxanne. SHe has her own web site and also sells on Etsy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Socks! Done!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And now, a haiku in honor of my socks.

I love my new socks:
Spiraling Coriolis.
Cat Bordhi rocks hard.

Edited to add: check out the comments for another haiku.
Now that I"ve made these socks once, I think I could make them in my sleep...they seem complex and LOOK complex but they're not! They're terrific! And I love how they make variegated yarn that has a bit of a pooling issue look good. And they're comfortable.

And of course, I immediately cast on for my next pair, the Cables and Corrugations, using Harmony Sock Yarn from Zen Yarn garden. I did the pontoon toe which was a bit of a challenge but looks good.

I also have my arwen in progress and promised myself this morning not to start another thing until the GAAA is done.

Oh, and the TYC is blocking. It's blocking! Hoorah!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What should I make?

stash enhancement
Originally uploaded by kbshee
As I mentioned yesterday, I had a little adventure at The Knit Shop. I went in to purchase some stitch markers and the new IK Holiday Gifts, and ended up with a few fiber goodies.

And yes, I know that taking the picture on top of a quilt is dumb.

Anyway, at the top, regia nation color sock yarn. I would normally gag at the yarn in the ball like this, but she had a sample knitted up into socks and they are the most cheerful socks you ever did see. So into the basket it jumped.

At the bottom, two skeins of Plymouth Fantasy Naturale. I've never knit with this, but the colors really pulled me in.

And as I was checking out, the wonderful sale on Manos was pointed out to me, and I grabbed three skeins. You see them in the middle

So what to make? Socks with the top yarn, obviously. I'd like to make some type of felted bucket bag with the manos. Any thoughts on what to do with the Fantasy Naturale? Some type of scarf, perhaps a moebius something?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So close!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I spent some time yesterday with my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, and completed the cables and most of the shaping at the top. All that is left is the neckline and the button bands (and to buy some buttons, note to self). The cables worked out pretty well...I was a stitch off at a couple of places but I think it looks fine. The pattern calls for stockinette cables on a stockinette background, so when you're working the cables it isn't always crystal clear which is 'cable' and which is 'background.' But on the whole, as long as someone isn't pushing me into a bright light and examining my cables with their reading glasses on, I think the total effect is really nice. I'm looking forward to actually wearing this looks like it will be done in time for winter.

closeup of tyc yoke
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And here is a closeup of the yoke. It is hard to photograph this...without the flash (as you see here) makes it sort of dark, with the flash really washes out the cable. Oh well. I should probably stand far away and use the zoom, but I never think of things like that until I'm in the middle of a blog.

I'll have more pictures to show you tomorrow. Yesterday while out running errands I popped into the KNit Shop to buy some stitch markers and the new IK Holiday Gifts issue. Well, you know what happened. Some yarns managed to come home with me. Anybody have a good pattern for two skeins of Fantasy Naturelle?

This weekend is ClayFest, Tim's first show. It is going well, he is getting great comments about his art and ideas on where to go next.
Thanks to everybody who came by to say hi!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Half a sweater...

Originally uploaded by kbshee good.

Not reall half a sweater...just the right front half and half a hood and a sleeve of my Arwen. The back is about 2/3 done. And now comes the sad tale...I had knit about 3" of the left front half before I realized I had made a huge error in the cable and it looked like poop. So I ripped the whole thang out and cast on again.

So not a whole lot of knitting to show you (which will be a theme for a bit).

I did get another row done on the TYC...440 stitches took me about 40 minutes. Not bad. And my stitch count seemed spot on, which was good.

Eugene knitters: visit ClayFest at the Fairgrounds this weekend!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oh What a Tangled Yoke We Weave

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or knit, as the case may be.

Well looky here. This seater fially looks like a sweater. Even though I posed it rather awkwardly on our couch. But anyway, I've attached the sleeves and started the cabled yoke...and I've actually completed a third of the yoke.

Right now, there are (deep breath) 440 stitches on the needles. Four rows at this level, then a couple of decreases to get it down to a normal level. But so far so good. The cables are very intuitive, which makes it easy to deal with the huge number of pattern repeats.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is a close up of the cables that I've done so far...the pattern makes sort of a loopy side scrolling cables that are very different and unique (or should I say Eunnyque, ha ha ha).

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in a dark grey with white and brown flecks in it, very pretty. I like the yarn. If one drops a stitch, the stitch will unravel and then sort of stick to the other stitches surrounding it. Not that I've dropped a stitch (I've dropped, um, six or seven actually).

We had a nice visit with Tim's brother and sil, Kevin and Sue, from St. Louis. I mostly went out to eat with them as I had to focus on some work things while they were here.

Cody had his fourth chemo and he is losing a bit of his appetite. This is a concern but I think is the pattern wtih his chemo. He still has that optimistic smile on his face every day. What a dog!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Coming Attractions

Things are busy here at our house: taking Cody to appointments, getting ready for Clay Fest , hosting houseguests, and the regular stuff of life. I'm tired. I feel like life is on the brink of extreme craziness and can't figure out for the life of me just how to pull it back in.

I will have knitting to show you, as the sleeves of the TYC are now attached to the body and I'm almost at the point where I decrease the yoke and then...the Tangled Cables!! Can't wait. Well, I can, but you know what I mean.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm dizzy!

one spiral
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Because I've been spiraling.

Here's my first Spiraling Corialus, from the new Cat Bordhi book. It's hard to take a picture of the coolness of the spirals but you can see the one spiral going up my leg. And I learned a new trick: the EZ sewn bind off (named for Elizabeth Zimmerman). It's a nice rolled yet stretchy bind off, much nicer than a regular bind off, although it takes forever.

Basically, you put a long piece of yarn on a needle, insert it into the first two stitches purlwise, draw the yarn through, insert it into the first stitch knitwise, draw yarn through, and then slip first stich off the needle. If it sounds like the kitchener stitch, it is very similar to it. I didn't think it would be stretchy but it was. Highly recommended.

Jessie seems to be doing a bit better, but we're not convinced it is a UTI and not just poor Kitten behavior. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You Want Some Boring Knitting Pictures?

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Well, I have them for you!

I have been getting some knitting done, it's just nothing very exciting to see. Take, for example, these two grey chimneys which are the sleeves for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. As soon as the sleeves are done, I'll attach them to the rest of the sweater and then I'll get to do the challenging yet stunning cable pattern on the yoke. But until the sleeves are done, no fun stuff to show! I have about 15 or 16 inches done and I think I have to get to 18 inches, so I'm close. But you know how those last few inches go. Especially in the sleeve vortex.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And if two grey chimneys are not enough, how about a big swatch of blue stockinette? This is the back to Arwen. Yes, you are supposed to knit it first but being the Wild and Crazy Knitter that I am, I started on the fun stuff first. But for my allday meeting in SF on Saturday, I took this. So between a few moments in the airport and 7 hours of meeting, I ended up wtih about 15 inches of fabric needed for the back. So I"m quite pleased with this. Even though it is boring to look at.

And in Jessie news: she may have a UTI, she may not. But we have her on antibiotics, and added a third litter box, and have had about 40 hours without inappropriate urination behavior. We also have a plastic tarp over our bed. So chic! Hopefully our efforts will make her happier and feeling better. And us too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Quiet Times in the Blogosphere

I've noticed that the blogosphere is quiet...less commenting, less updating of it just the fall season and the start of normal fall busy-ness?

That said, not much to show was nutty this week and today we had to take Jessie Cat to the vet and drop her off because of inappropriate urination. We hope it is something we can treat and not a behavioral problem, but we'll see. I miss her. It's not right when there's not a Jessie Cat in the house.

Off to SF for an overnight and back tomorrow, hopefully to return with some knitting to show you!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or however you spell it.

Here is my first sock from the new Cat Bordhi book, the spiraling corialus pattern, using STR Dreidel. It's a cool pattern (look closely, you can see the spiral going from the botton left to the top right). The spiral will then go around the foot and then I'll bind off.

I cast on a few too many stitches, so it is a bit loose around the upper instep but not too bad. And it will probably shrink up a bit. But I like it. And the pattern is fun to knit!

It is the first week of classes and so a bit nutty, and I"m off for an overnight to San Francisco on Friday, but I'll try to get a more informative post in soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Arwen Update

arwen: right side
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been spending some time with Arwen, mostly because I'm in the sleeve vortex with my Tangled Yoke cardi and it is going oh so slowly. I do like the Arwen and have to keep reminding myself that I won't have to do sleeves when I finish the body, as the sleeves are part of the fronts, as you can see here.

Did that make sense?

The pattern is interesting (in a good way) in that once you finish the sleeve you kitchener the sides of the cuff together. So, now I have a right side, a sleeve without a seam, and a cuff that is finished. I have the hood to do on the right side and then the fun beings again with the left side.

arwen cuff
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And here is said cuff, taken wiht a very bright flash so you can see some of the cable pattern. It is so pretty, and it is almost (almost) straightforward enough that I don't need to read the chart any longer.

We're off for a paddle today which may be one of the last paddles of the season, given the early fall we've been having here in Oregon (happy fall everyone, by the way).

I heard on the news that Marcel Marceau died...and flashed back to when I was in college and a bunch of us went to see him downtown in Chicago. I recall only bits and pieces of it, specifically that he was pretty much what you would expect him to be, he did the "Bip" character, that the tickets were the most I had ever paid for something, and that he took something like 25 curtain calls (not an exaggeration). I also recall thinking he was very old when we saw him, but realze today he was only a few years older than I am now.
I know I'm on of the last people on the Planet to read "Water for Elephants" but it is a terrific book. It is a bit hard for me to read sometimes, being such an animal lover and with death sort of close to the surface in the book (and at our house), but it is a very compelling story.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Old Socks New Socks

Magic Stripes for Tim
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Striped Socks Blue Socks

Anyway, as I mentioned the all-day meeting on Tuesday allowed me to finish the leg and turn the heel of Sock #2, and so I finished it off this week. The big benefit to me is that now I can try a sock from Cat Bordhi's book, New Pathways for Sock Knitting (or Sock Knitters, or something else).

I learned how to knit socks on two circs from Cat's book (Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles). The first time I knit a sock from her instructions, the words just didn't make any sense to me, but several people told me to do EXACTLY WHAT SHE SAYS and to not try to figure out what exactly you're doing and why...and that eventually it will all make sense. And yes, yes it eventually did. Now, I can make a sock on two circs from the top down with my eyes closed, so that blind faith in the instructions does work.

So I need even MORe blind faith with this book, as she offeres a bunch of heels, a bunch of toes, and a bunch of beautiful socks to try. You're supposed to start with baby socks to get the idea but of course I say Pshaw to that. I'm starting with the Spiraling Coriolis pattern, using a toe up toe that looks like a star.

What I love is that her socks are made with handpainted that in all honestly, many patterns just don't do justice to. As a result, I end up making a lot of plain vanilla socks with handpaint (witness the magic stripes sock) that are fine for long car rides but not that interesting to do on a regular basis. So I'm excited that Cat's book will open some new possibilities...or pathways...for all that yarn in my stash.

So stay tuned! I cast on with some STR in the 'dreidel' colorway that I've had in the stash and wound into a cake for a long time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reality Nibbles

I was in an all day meeting on Tuesday, and spent yesterday driving up and back to Portland for a lunch presentation, and I got lost on the way home, so two days have been sucked, literally sucked, away. The good news is that I was able to knit during most of the Tuesday meeting and now am finishing off the toe of Tim's socks. That means I get to cast on for a new sock using Cat Bordhi's new book, and I'm very excited about that. Now just to figure out which yarn from la stash will be lucky enough to get the Cat Bordhi Treatment!

Other than that, things are fine here. Cody is doing pretty well, his most recent blood work came up fine. Our Eugene vet is a bit concerned he's not gaining weight, our Corvallis vet is thrilled he isn't losing weight, so I guess everything is fine in that regard.

We had a fun dinner wtih our friends Steve and Jen last Sunday night, and we are looking forward to meeting their new baby girl who is tentatively scheduled to arrive in late December. We had a brief discussion about names on Sunday, and then last night while watching "America's Next Top Model" we were introduced to the name "Spontaneuse" which might be one for them to consider. (FYI, that would be pronounced "Spon-Tane-Ee-Ooze").

It reminded me of a story that my friend Elizabeth Speers told me: she was riding on the subway in New York and overheard the following speech from a mother to her daughter: "Spatula. I have two words for you. Be Hayve."

So Steve and Jen, we propose Spontaneuse and Spatula for your consideration.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Charity Blanket

blanket as of 9/17
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished my square of the Charity Blanket, and it is on its way to Tammi!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I've Had Mail!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This week's mail has brought a bunch of wonderful surprises to me, and I wanted to share them all with you. Plus there is a little knitting if you wait a bit til the end (or else just scroll down). Anyway, my friend Jodie organized a charity blanket swap, where you knit a square of a blanket, attach it to said blanket, and then send it along to the next knitter with some gifties and such. The blanket arrived from Florida this week, accompanied by some treats including beautiful yarn and this little guy, a snail, which of course is practically the Official Animal of Oregon. This snail was made by Lauren, who is very talented as well as a great knitter.

charity blanket
Originally uploaded by kbshee
The blanket itself is a bit of a potpourri (in a good way) and I was stymied for a bit on how to add something unique that didn't clash too much with the rest of the blanket. So if you'll look closely, you'll see the three colors of yarn I'm going to use to make a bias square for my part of the blanket. The colors should fit in fine wtih the ones relatively adjacent to the square. The yarns are mission falls wool and some rowan botany (two strands held together). I started yesterday for a bit and it seems to be going well and looking pretty good.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yesterday, the mail brought my "Virtual Vacation" from Jan in Virginia! The idea of this swap was locaiton best: I sent my 'downstream' person, Aileen, a box of stuff from Oregon (STR, euphoria chocolate, and duck stuff) and I received a box from my 'upstream' person. It was all a surprise, and I found out yesterday that my upstream person was Jan. She sent a great box filled with Virginia and DC things, including a Capital Monuments dishtowel that I love, Virginia nuts, Panda Cotton, and the cutest little sheepie kit. And wonderful postcards, and more. What a great vacation! Thanks so much Jan!

lcuky lurfer
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And the first shipment of the Lucky Lurker sock club came in the mail. Angela, of A Swell Yarn Shop does beatiful dyework. And her yarn feels great. I absolutely adore this colorway.

I've been thinking a lot about sock clubs in the past few weeks, as it is time to decide whether I'll renew my STR club membership. I think I'm going to take a pass for next year. I have plenty of STR yarn, and I'm finding myself more attracted by other yarns. I just haven't been loving the colorways of the STR club this year, and I think I'd rather just buy what I'd like. So there you go.

t sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And finally....some knitting. As much as I love the pricey hand dyed sock yarn, I also dearly love the now-history Lion Brand sock yarn. Magic Stripes. I think this was the first yarn I used to make socks, and honestly, it makes a pretty, long wearing sock. This is one that I just finished, that I started in the car on the way to Canada. It's for Tim, and somehow I made it bigger than normal so that I had to add a solid color toe (Knit Picks Essentials).

Whew! That's a lot to show you!