Monday, January 29, 2007

Madrona photos


Madrona photos
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yesterday's post was Madrona in words, today it is just a few random pics of what I bought and who I saw. First, these gorgeous glass circs made by Sheila and Michael!


IMG_0366.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Yeah, I bought some sock yarn. From left...chameleon colorworks. Blue Moon Seduction. Two skeins of dark purpleygrey koigu. And STR in Foo Foo.


IMG_0368.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And I bought spinning fibers. The bag of off white is five different fibers, which I'll spin together and do some type of sampler scarf. It could be very cool.


IMG_0359.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This is Christine...she made this gorgeous fair isle sweater herself.


IMG_0358.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Sheila from KR and another knitter at the Charity Knitting talk.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Madrona!

I'm back from Madrona. My laptop is dead but I'm back up with our new Mac Mini. I have a couple pictures of Madrona but nothing great. I'd give the whole experience a B+. Here's my recap:

Venue
The Sheraton Tacoma was very nice, with lots of room for knitting. I met up with some KR folks Frday evening and there's plenty of room to sit and chat. The staff of the hotel was friendly and accomodating. My only issue was that the hotel is in the middle of a banking district without a lot of other stuff around it. I did wander over to the theatre and antique district which was nearby, but (well, let's just admit it) no Nordstrom's or anything like that within walking distance.

Market
The Market was nice but very very small, nothing at all like the Black Sheep Gathering. They said there were 22 vendors, but there were probably only about a dozen or so booths, so maybe some of the vendors partnered up. Blue Moon was there...not a huge selection, but I did get some sock yarn in the Foo Foo colorway as well as some of their Seduction yarn in a solid burgundy color (got some sock yarn and roving for Jodie too). My friends Sheila and Michael were there with their glass needles. A few other people (who also go to the BSG) and some Seattle area stores rounded out the bill. Of course, I found some stuff to buy: some rovings, and some koigu (I don't think anyone in Eugene sells that). So, small but nice.

Classes
One for two. 67%, actually, since the good class was a six hour class and the not-so-good was a 3 hour glass. The good class: Spinning, Beyond Basics taught by Paula Shull. Great class....everyone knew how to spin and how to work their wheel, and the class concentrated on spinning different fibers and then plying techniques. I learned how to prepare and spin cotton (which I actually enjoyed, which most people don't) and I also learned to Navajo Ply, which is really terrific. Worth the whole trip. Anyway...it was a very empowering class.

Now, the not so good. It was a class in Shibori Felting, which is basically making 3-d forms on a felted fabric. My thought is that 3 hours just isn't enough to do anything, and when I walked into the class and saw no water or anything that would actually allow you to felt I got a bad feeling. So, the class was basically 1 1/2 hour of the instructor showing us things she had felted using the Shibori method, a break, followed by endless questions on 'how to felt' (which I already know) and then she gave us some stuff that we could rubber band into our 'samples' and then take home to felt. Which is fine, but nothing I couldn't have learned to do on my own. When you can't complete the process and get feedback, it's not a great experience (at least for me).

Other stuff
There was an activity each night. Thursday were presentations on Charity Knitting by the Yarn Harlot and by this saint of a woman who used to be a school bus driver and now works to help underpriveledged kids in the Seattle area. She's awesome. Friday night was a great presentation by Fiona Ellis on inspiration.

I completed two more hats for Kate's project, so I felt good about that.

I met some nice folks, but let me tell you, fiber snobs were abundant.

All in all, I'm glad I went. At a minimum, it showed me how lucky I am to have access to the Black Sheep Gathering, which I much prefer. I may go back, I may not, we'll just have to see.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another Fuzzy


fuzzy 2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished a second hat for Kate's Boston Children's Hospital thingee, and here 'tis.

Bad news electronically, as my powerbook pulled a Yarn Harlot and is now at the Mac Store seeing if it can be revived. We have a mac mini that I'm using but unfortunately I have to remember all my passwords and such to use stuff. And it hurts the head.

I'm off to Madrona tomorrow for a few days, and I should have a lot of news when I return. And hopefully my little buddy will be back and resuscitated.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pimp my Knitting Bag


my knitting bag
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I did a big clean of my knitting bag, since (as I wrote the other day) the wips sort of rested gently on top of the bag itself, which was filled with yarn that I wasn't currently using, about 40 dpns of all shapes and sizes, scissorscissorscissors, old patterns, etc. Now it is all straightened out and my tools and notions are in a tin box. I can tote around everything I need for several small projects and not be embarassed by the mess.

To celebrate, I made my Knitting Bag a little knit flower.

Anyway...I'm selling a used set of Denise Interchangeables. Not surprisingly, it is missing three needles: a 5, a 7 and an 8. It comes with 11 cords. 11! $25 or trade in sock yarn. Email me if you're interested.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Random Thoughts and Pictures


a fuzzy
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
1. I finished my first hat for Boston's Children's Hospital. It's made out of CP Fizz, and it is very cute. Although directions say it should take about an hour to make, I think it took me 2.5 hours. Anyway. My goal is to make four hats by mid-February.

2. Did you ever get to the point with your knitting basket that your WIPs sort of rest on the top and the rest of the basket is filled with knitting effluvia (is that a word?)...ends of balls, stray needles, stained and wrinkled patterns downloaded from Knitty? I'm there. So there. So I'm in sort of an organizational spree with both my knitting and spinning baskets. And it's going well.


'samplers'
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
3. I finished my Madrona homework: four of the turquoise 'samplers' (see pic) and two purple samplers. Each are about 10" x 10" square, and I calculated this morning when I couldn't sleep that pretty much translates to the back of a sweater. Oh well. The turquoise ones are in alpaca...so soft! A pleasure to knit with. THe thought of felting them makes me sad but eh. C'est la vie.

4. I spun more yesterday, and will do some plying today. I think I can be not embarrassed in my spinning class next weekend. But we'll see..

5. Go Colts! WHen I was working on my PhD at the University of Tennessee, the qb of the football team was a nice young man named Peyton Manning. Although our primary allegiance is to the Denver Broncos, we still love the Colts and hope they go all the way. Go Colts!


sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
6. Remember my New Year's Resolution, to design some stuff? I know you were worried that all my designs would be similar to the Nipple Bag (see below). But I actually designed an Aran Sock that I love. It's hard to see in this picture, because the yarn is a dark grey. Anyway...it's a seed stitch sock with an 8-stitch cable going down each side. It's really lovely, if I do say so myself..

7. I think that's about all. Have a good Sunday!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yes, The Scissors are There for a Reason


IMG_0335.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's a before an after on the felted bag I made last weekend. Somehow I got it in my thick head that I 'needed' a new bag to take to Madrona. You know how it can be with fiber evvents...you want to "nonchalantly" be equipped with some nice thing that you knit so people know you're not a fly-by-night fiber floozy, but Knitter Damn It! Anyway. So I knit this bag. It used a lot of stash, including some I bought in Sedona last summer. It was this thick yarn, almost pencil roving, in Monet-esque colors. I didn't mean to get the bag so fan-shaped, but it was what it was (no pattern used).

The scissors, then (hey, is scissors spelled correctly? Because it just doens't look right to me) are used for measurement...that is, so you can see how big the bag was BEFORE felting and then the compare to the AFTER. It's what geologists do. Thus, being married to a former geologist has a few perks.


after
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
So it shrunk down, the Monet colors got much more Monet-like, and Tim saw it and immediately starting calling it " The Giant Nipple". Which, while true, is just sort of gross.

But I'll use it anyway. I'm not sure that stuff won't come spilling out of it, but maybe I'll just use it as a knitting bag. Because really? I have enough stuff to take to Madrona. I'll just wear my Lady E and my clappy and call it a day.

Lots of WIPs here. In addition to the SLP and two pairs of socks, I want to finish at least three hats for Kate (maybe four) (taking hat stuff to Madrona) AND I have homework for Madrona...six 'samplers' (aka large ass swatches), four out of alpaca and two out of wool. Ten inches, dear readers, ten inches square these samplers need to be. Three are done. One is on the needles. They will be done.

And...I spun yesterday, for the first time in months. Months. Since I'm taking a spinning class next Friday, I figure that I should at least put up a good front of being a Spinner.

WIPs tomorrow.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stella Sez..


stella and fuzzy hat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Let's make fuzzy hats for sick kids!

Stella was a sick little kitten once, so she knows how hard it is to be a sick kid. She also has a fuzzy head. That's why she was very excited to hear about Kate's wonderful idea: make fun fur or some other type of fuzzy hat for kids at the Boston Children's Hospital.

Stella sends out a big meow to Carol (or should she call you Aunt Carol?) for alerting us to this wonderful idea, and to our knitting buddy Jodie for offering to send off any Eugene knitter's completed hats.

I went through the stash (and OH MY this will do wonderful things for my knit from stash project) and I have enough for 4 or 5 hats. They need to be completed by the end of February. I'm going to take a bunch of stuff up to Seattle next weekend and get some done there too.

I have more stuff to show you, but I'll wait til tomorrow. Stella says so.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Chocolate Volcano Cake


volcano #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I got an intense craving for Chocolate Volcano Cake this weekend (actually, it was an intense craving for that 'chocolate cake with gooey chocolate inside', Tim remembered the name). A quick google resulted in finding this recipe which seemed pretty much what I was looking for. Two shopping trips were needed: one to purchase things like bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder, and the other to purchase ramekins, which we did not own until Saturday.

If you're a chocolate fan, this is the dessert for you. It takes about twenty minutes to mix up and twenty minutes to cook.

volcano #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The cooking is actually a little complex since the volcano cake is done when the edges are firm but the center is still soft. And since a ramekin is only what, three inches wide, there is a small window between underdone and overdone (it says so right on the recipe, so it must be true). But we seemed to time it perfectly, as the result was exactly what we would have expected at a fancy schmancy restaurant.

And yes, there's ice cream on the plate (and cocoa. Tim is the artist). You actually need the ice cream to sort of cut the overwhelming sweetness of the volcano. But man, is it good.

Keep in mind, if you're going to try that recipe, that we made 2/3 of the batch and had enough for two 8-ounce ramekins and maybe a half of the third...not the four we were expecting. YMMV.


various yarn
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I also got a craving to use up some yarn in my stash for a felting project, sort of a free-form bag. The yarn on the right is yarn I bought in Sedona...it was hand dyed there...and is a very bulky yarn. The yarn on the left is one skein of purple manos that I must have bought online or something because it started to felt on itself by itself. Beneath that is another skein of Cascade 200 in purple. You'll see the result tomorrow. And in the middle is some Misty alpaca that I need to knit up for my Shibori Felting Class at Madrona.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Cotton-Easy Sweater!


cotton-easy
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
To celebrate the return of one of my favorite yarns, cotton-ease, I knit this cardigan and sort of made it up as I went along. First, a square for the back that was about 21 inches x 21 inches (the last two inches were ribbing). Then two front that were stockinette but ended in a ribbed button band. Then I picked up stitches for the sleeves. I actually have some detailed notes on how I knit this so if you have any need of a sweater that fits a 42" person let me know and I'll write up the pattern for you.

I also made the buttons,,,hand felted with leftover roving. They are red, purple, and black, and look good with the color of cotton-ease, which is called charcoal and is about one or two shades awy from being black.

It continues to be cold here (it hasn't been above freezing for several days, very rare for a place which rarely goes below freezing). Yet, my trashy next door neighbors still felt it necessary to party in their hot tub at 4 a.m. I know it's a hot tub, but isn't it still too cold?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

SNOW!!


snow!
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We're having what can only be considered in Eugene (or basically, Western Oregon) a snow storm. In the last 12 hours, it has snowed 1.5 inches at our house. Now, we're at probably as low an elevation as one can get in the Willamette Valley, and at the PC Market of Choice (how Eugene is that for a grocery store name?) the lovely checker Rachel said at her house a bit south of me, 3 inches fell by the morning rush hour (I'm guessing Rachel may be a wee bit off on her calculations, but it could be snow-ier there). All schools are closed, except of course for the U of O.

It will get more interesting when the temps go down to 10 degrees tonight, which is basically arctic conditions here.

After my panic of 'I have nothing on the needles" I hurried up and cast on two socks: one of Trekking XXL in a basic rib pattern and one in grey wool in an Aran pattern that I'm sort of making up as I go along. What's up with all the Trekking XXL love? It seems like a nice yarn but nothing to write home about.
>Last thing. If you haven't heard the brouhaha over my Beloved Socks that Rock , hop on over to Stephanie's or Wendy's blog to read all about it. And blast that darn BANK!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Everybody's Got Something to Hide


IMG_0308.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...except for me and my Monkeys.

Did you ever have a blog post title so perfect you couldn't wait to post it? That's me today! I finished my Monkey Socks from Knitty, done in STR in, what? I can't recall the color. Smoky Topaz I think. Smoky some type of rock.

These were fun to make, it's a complex enough lace pattern (lace! lace!) that you don't get bored but it's not so hard you can't lose the plotline in, say, Law and Order. Toward the end there I could even knit them during "The Wire", but that's only because I was doing the foot and I used plain stockinette for the foot.


IMG_0309.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here's a close up...the pattern is very cool but it's hard to see on photographs. I used a size 0 needle because the pattern repeat is 16 stitches, and 64 stitches is usually way too much for me. So the fabric is a bit denser than it might be if these were knit on the 'right' size needles (say a 1 or a 2).

I had a moment of panic last night because I finished my cotton-easy sweater too and I was at that 'what next?' moment...I really didn't have anything new planned! Hard to believe. However, i designed a pair of sox in my head last night (aran pattern) and also a new felted bag so I'll be starting on those! Stay tuned!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Me? Weird?


socks on the line
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I got tagged by Charles yesterday.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

I've been referred to as 'quirky' more than once, so I should be able to think of six weird things about me. But I can't figure out what's weird and what's just a basic charming aspect of my personality.

But here goes.

1. I enjoy pictures that gather all my knitting together, such as this one. I washed a load of handknit socks yesterday, and found the sight of them all hanging together in the laundry room charming. Or perhaps it is weird or quirky. You decide..

2. I tend to enjoy spending time with animals more than spending time with (most) people.

3. Liver sausage makes me gag.

sea silk
Originally uploaded by kbshee.

4. I'll buy yarn sight unseen if enough people make over it. Case in point: Fleece Artist Sea Silk. Here's the color I'm using for my SLP.

5. I think I'm very clever for inventing terms like SLP, when in reality all that means is that my blog readers will either be totally confused or will have to scroll down and figure out what it means. (Secret lace project. See below).

6. Try as I might, I don't get YouTube.
Now for the tagging:

Steve, Jen , Carol, Lori and YOU if you want to do this meme! Let me know.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

It Felt Good!


IMG_0303.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Hey!

Before I get into the IKC (important knitting content), do you read Wendy knits ? I got a mention on her blog because of my 50-cents-a-ball-from-stash donation to Heifer. And L-B came by and left a comment (HI L-B!). Kudos to Wendy and L-B for their support of this awesome organization. Anyway, my head is just a wee bit swelled. But that's just temporary, and as soon as I pick up my Secret Lace Project (see below) it will go down again.

Now for the IKC.

I did a little felting in the trustworthy front loader yesterday, and for once things felted in less than an hour. I think it was using the towel setting. I had planned on having these slippers be for me but they ended up fitting Tim better, and he likes them, so enjoy your slippers sweetie! Note to self: make the smalls next time. Honestly, I have huge feet but it never fails that I end up making the smallest sock or slipper. Odd, that.


IMG_0304.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My little Mason-Dixon box turned out pretty well, small but nice. I think we'll make these (with coasters) for Christmas gifts next year. The lid, unfortunately, did not work. I didn't have enough rows for the lid, and the box itself isn't structured enough to support a lid. I want to design a round felted box, and I think I'll need to put a lip on it, sort of like the lip on the slippers I made. That might give it a little more structure and support.

In other knitting news: the cotton-easy sweater is down to the final sleeve, the monkey socks are almost at the heel turn, and I'm designing a Secret Lace Project (SLP)...

....wait for it...

...a lace scarf. Ye Gods! Me and Lace! I've had to start it over four times and finally got the hang of a lifeline (best advice: use a thin, cabled yarn for a lifeline...wire does not work for me nor does thread. I found some weaving yarn that seems to do the trick). I think I'm going to submit it to Knitty and their 'rules' state that you can't show it on your blog. But...it's lace, it's pretty, and it's made with Sea Silk (beautiful yarn). (from stash).

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Faster than the Speed of Light


IMG_0301.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Have you made these felted clogs from the Fiber Trends pattern?

Can I tell you how satisfying it is to make these? I probably spent a total of 4 hours MAX on both of these clogs. Of course, that's not including felting time (and weaving in time, if you look closely you'll notice no weaving in has been done) and my friends, I am NOT a fast knitter. But zip zip zip and the felted clogs are done. And it's a fun pattern. Really.

The yarn? The grey yarn is Cascade 220, the blue yarn is Brown Sheep in Sapphire (one of my favorite colors). There's enough left over for a kitty pi bed.

I'll probably felt these (and the box) tomorrow.
There's Cody in the background, being very bored by the whole knitting and photography brouhaha.



IMG_0298.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I like this picture because 1. it's in focus (definitely a rarity for me) 2. both the cat girls are in it 3. I didn't have to use a flash 4. Stella doesn't look particularly crazy and 5. you can sort of see Stella's little face, which often is impossible. We try to limit use of flash photography because of her seizures (oh! the things you have to think about with a little seizure kitty. We also can't play 'chase' with one of those red led pointer thingees, since that can trigger a seizure too).

Do you like the quilt? It was made by me completely by hand in my quilting days. I like moons and stars.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Baby


IMG_0287.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Or, my first FO of 2007.

Although in retrospect, it isn't finished because it needs to be felted.

Anyway. It's a box from Mason Dixon Knitting. Only different. I didn't make it with bulky, I made it in worsted. And not in garter, in stockinette.

And I created a lid for it (NYKR: create more patterns, check!). (she blogged sarcastically).

It's small, and it isn't even felted. So it will probably felt down to a jewelry (sp?) box size, which isn't really that bad. I'm interested to see if the lid becomes at all lid-like.

AND I cast on for a pair of felted clogs. Man, those things knit up fast.