Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My SIL went to Stitches West and All I Got...


SWag
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...was this FABULOUS skein of sock yarn.

Thanks Candace! I have written before of the Knitting Wonder that is my SIL Candace, and just to confirm that she is indeed a Goddess, she sent me sock yarn! It's a wool/bamboo blend which feels terrific. Now, what pattern? Maybe pomatohowever you pronounce it??

Or, the Eiffel Tower Socks thaat I just downloaded from the Six Socks Knitalong sight.

Decisions, decisions! But what decisions to make!


fair isle?
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The Mailman (oops, sorry, letter carrier) also brought a box of Elann Espirit, the low cost cousin of Cascade Fixation. the plan is to make a pair of fair isle socks from the blues and the pinks; the stripey colorway is for a pair for Tim.

Nice sock yarn day for me, yes?
>

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You can be an M&M too!


me as mandm
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Did you see the M&M commercials on the Oscars?

If you visit the web site (www.becomeanmm.com) you can create your own M and M in your own image!

If the hair was a little wavier this would loo pretty much like me. Oh, and if it had a nose.

Big fun.

Today is Spay and Neuter your Pets Day! If it is one of those things that you haven't thought about doing then think about doing so!

/> Quick roof update: the roofer was here and gave us a couple of options: caulking around the flashing, new flashing, new skylights. We are going to go for the new skylight, since patching just tends to be that...patching...and we want the house a bit more sealed up. He seemed like a stand up guy (don't I sound like a 50s housewife) and we'll get it all done without losing our shirts. So...as soon as it stops raining...they'll get going.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Random Sunday


terra firma 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
1. I finished the first 'terra firma' sock...if the sun finally comes out here in Eugene I'll take a picture of this in natural light so you can see all the vibrant browns and earth tones in this sock. It's medium weight, so it knits up fast and that's nice. They feel great.

2. Speaking of socks, I joined the Redbird knits sock club. It seems like those sock kits help build new skills (not that making a 2x2 rib sock for every darn sock is wrong, but you know). Anyway. The first kit I'll get is a two-color fair isle with a solid and a multi colored. It should be fun.

3. Litle rant to the right on "The Knitting Circle". If you liked this book and I've offended you, my apolgies. But honestly.


stash!
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
4. As I mentioned earlier, we got 'new' furniture for our office (furniture belonging to Tim's old job, but whatever). We also decided to re-do the closet in the office so it doesn't become the 'dump-everything-you-don't-know-what-to-do-with-in-here" closet. Part of the renovation is making some dedicated stash space. So we bought three big tubs for yarn yesterday: one tub for felitng yarn, one tub for 'enough yarn to make a sweater' yarns, and one tub for single skeins. The sock yarn, as you might imagine, has its own special stash places.


Jessie cat
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
5. Our new office allows a large square of space at the end of my desk for our cat Jessiecat to hang out and survey the front lawn (her favorite thing to do). I'll make her a kitty pi bed eventually but for now she lives on a shawl I bought at the Bronte homestead in Yorkshire (seriously) in the mid-80s. Anyway, she loves this spot...in fact, she no longer sleeps on our bed because she prefers this spot.

6. We watched "The Prestige" last night. Great, great movie. And a good book too (thanks Alyssa).


roof
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
7. And in the "into everyone's life a little rain must fall" category...here's a picture of our roof. Yesterday mid-afternoon, I was settling down in the living room for a little read and knit and heard...uh oh...a bit of dripping in the room. We've been having a lot of rain yesterday, so we weren't surprised that one of our skylights started leaking and dripping through the attic into the window frame.

This discover was followed by the hoisting of bricks onto the roof to hold down first one tarp, and then a second tarp that I dashed out to buy. Tim did most of the brick laying while I did a good share of foisting. In the rain. And it's cold too. But the good news is that the dripping has stopped, and Tim's visit into the Attic showed that there's not really any structural damage.

8. Spring has to be coming, doesn't it?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Multi Tasking

I noticed that my blog posts have been a little, um, brief this week. I'm feeling a wee bit on the frazzled size.

I have always thought of myself as a good multi-tasker, but I think the downside of spending a few months concentrating on a single project means that once that project is over, my multi tasking skills seem to be a bit rusty. I've got a lot of little things on my plate right now: some case studies for the book, getting classes ready for next term, organizing the publication of a Conference Proceedings: all things that I'm fine doing in 'normal' mode, but are completely throwing me for a loop right now.

I start things, get a quarter way through, abandon for something else, then get back to it and basically have to start all over too.

This is weirdly mirrored in my knitting...all I want to do is start projects and everything's in a 'not close to being finished' mode.
Which is fun, but it doesn't help when all I want to do is, y'know, start more projects.

In addition, we had disruptions with houseguests and getting all new furniture for our completely disorganized office, so we've had to be a bit flexible with our lives for a week or so. And I don't think that helped much.

So my goal: to focus. To finish. To complete. And to take pride in completion as an accomplish, not an invitation to do more.

Thanks for listening.

UPDATE: I have a publisher for the book I've been working on during my Sabbatical!!!! Hooray!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Little Red Socks


redsock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I love these socks.

They're red. They're koigu. They're adapted from a pattern in 'Sensational Knitted Socks". What's not to love?

How are you doing? It has been a busy week here and rainy too. I've had a couple school projects going on (boo) but made a decision today that enough is enough and the last five weeks of my sabbatical are mine, not the school's.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do Not Mess with Me


stella awak
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Hello blog readers.

My name is Stella.

Some people are just too tired to blog today, as they have been spending time with The Young Man, a visitor to my my home. He invaded my personal space and I spent much time Staring at Him. He is known as my 'cousin' or the 'nephew' of my parents, but I can't really believe that. First of all, he is not covered in black hair, and second, he is not insane. So how can we be related?

The Source of All Wet Food will return tomorrow with knitting content. Until then, as The Young Man has left and I have no one else to stare at, I shall stare at you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Does Handspun Count as Stash?


IMG_0439.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
You may have noticed an uptick in the 'balls from stash' count on the right hand column. That's because I made an executive decision that handspun that has been hanging around (literally) on hangers in closets that is now wove into balls and prepared to be part of a new project is offficially stash, and can be counted in the tally.

I have almost 540 grams of handspun in the colors shown on the left (four colors, plus one more on the wheel right now). The plan is to do a linen stitch rectangular shawl knit 'long way'...ie, cast on 265 stitches. I'll alternate every row and leave a long tail for fringe. It may only take about 20 or so rows (we'll see, I forgot to measure the gauge swatch for that, oops).

I also started a pair of STR socks in a beautiful mediumweight colorway called 'Terra Firma" and also "Tempting" in Cotton-ease. Not surprisingly, none of these projects are anywhere near photography-ready.

Friday, February 16, 2007

So Nice, I Knit it Twice


moebius 2
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Sort of.

Let me start by saying I think Cat Bordhi is a Knitting Genius. I learned how to knit socks from her book "Socks Soar.." and I love both Treasuries of Magical Knitting because I think Moebius knitting is just about the most fun knitting one can do. Seriously. I love you Cat Bordhi!!! Can't wait for your new books!

This moebius was posted on her website...it's more of a 'hood' or a 'wimple' than the ones in her book, which I like because I do like a bit of scarf around my neck when it is cold and damp. And I love that you can pull it up around your head.


moebius 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Remember that black-to-grey handspun I did a week or so ago? I used that to make the scarf. I love how it looks, and how it is sort of neutral but sort of not. Of course, it would look better if I spun it more consistently, but that is neither here or there.

I tweaked the pattern a bit, finishing it with a picot bind off to give it a little more 'personality' around the edges, and I do like the effect.


But. Here was my problem. I hadn't knit a moebius for a while, and forgot that when the pattern says "cast on 80" that you count every 'scoop' as a cast on, not one for every two scoops (if you don't know what I'm saying, then just nod and follow along). What that means is that the first time I knit this, I mistakenly cast on 160 stitches rather than the suggested 80. And I knit the whole thing. I only had 150 yards so we're not talking a lot of knitting, but still. You know. Anyway, I finished and instead of having a moebius that sort of snuggled around my neck, I had a moebius that that baically fell to my knees. Oops. So rip rip rip and here it is again.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!


christmas_stella
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
So I guess you know you're really Married when you and your husband 1. give each other the exact same Valentine's day chocolates and 2. exchange cards from the dogs.

I hope this day finds you surrounded by the ones you love, in both two legged and four leged varieties.

I'm happy today...my computer problems are over and done with. I have a new MacBook that school purchased for me, and I was able to firewire transfer everything from myold PowerBook to my new MacBook. So I am a happy girl. The MacBook is fun, and hopefully won't break for a few years.
Stella sends her crazy love to everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bad Photo, Good Sweater


wicked
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The sun won't let me use a flash on this photo, so you can't really see all its gorgeous lemon yellowness. And it isn't blocked. And I haven't woven in ends. But still. Lookey, a finished sweater!

In my quest to use up my cotton-ease stash, I made the "Wicked" sweater. You can buy the pattern online: here and I highly recommend these patterns: I made another top down one and this one and the patterns are very clear and easy to knit from. Wicked can be long sleeved with a kangaroo pocket if you wish...and the pattern is written for both worsted and lace weights. Very cool.

So while yesterday I had a scary moment with lots of things on the needles today I feel a bit more in control. Two pairs of socks and a moebius cowl in my handspun. If I can get gauge.....oh, the knitter's worst fear, if I CAN"T get gauge...I digress...if I can get gauge I'll start on Tempting. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oh, Just Start Them All

I have no pictures to show you since I cast on a bunch of stuff since I couldn't decide what I did and did not want to do. So now I have a lot of little bits of knitting ephemera that, while charming, doesn't amount to much.

In my Fantasy Knitting World you have a Magic Basket in which you may drop projects that are, say, 80% done and they will be automatically finished by the Knitting Faieries (good fairies, the KFs, not those evil ones in much of Celtic mythology). The 80% figure is crucial because that's a strong commitment to the project, and thus placing it in the Magic Basket isn't a sign of wussing on the project or anything.

But I promise pics tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Do the Math!


IMG_0389.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Size 0 Needles + Tim's Feet=Socks that Take a Long Time to Make

Finally finished these socks in Trekking XXL. I like this yarn but I'm not overly enchanted with it as others are. I guess for a moderately priced sock yarn it's fine. It just took forever to do these socks.

I managed to make them match (pretty much) and they feel good, and they're done. Ta da!

So I'm wondering what to start next. I have some Cascade Fixation that I want to try on a pair of socks...it is supposed to go fast. I'm also thinking about entrelac socks in the STR foo foo that I purchased at Madrona. I'm also thinking about the Tempting Top in light blue cotton ease that is in the stash. I also want to make a linen stitch shawl out of all my homespun.

Yikes!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Who Says Yarn Doesn't Grow on Trees?


IMG_0388.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
(Snicker>)

So I have had a very fibery day, such a nice treat. I had breakfast with Jodie and caught up with her, also handed off my hats for Kate and the goodies that I procured for her at Madrona. Then came home and spent some time spinning...and even went that final step and soaked the spun yarn and hung it outside to dry.

From left to right: 'winter storm" (more on this below, the purple navajo plied yarn you saw a few posts back,some blue navajo plied, and the purple two ply also from a few posts back. The blue is...hmm...there's a spinning word for it...energized? I think that's it. It's very twisty. Very. But I like it. I think I'll do some type of shawl with my blue and purple handspun. I have oodles.


IMG_0384.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Anyway, winter storm...I bought a 'sampler pack' from a woman named Ruth who runs a small company called the Dizzy Ewe. The sampler pack came with five one ounce samples of five colors of grey ranging from dark to light. Two were merino, one was merino/tencel, and the other two were merino/silk. I spun up about half of it, spinning maybe a dozen yards of a single and then changing to the next darker color then back again. It looks cool (I'll take another pic when it's dry to show you). I will make a moebius that should look incredible. Very excited.

(Note to self: when spinning the rest, start wtih the SECOND lightest color).

All in all, a good day. I did a lot of work yesterday, and realized today that I have only a few short weeks left of my sabbatical. We have the first draft of our word of mouth book done and it's being considered by a publisher, so I feel that I've accomplished a bit.

Next post: knitting news, including some socks and my frustrations with blocking Sea Silk (if you have blocked this fiber, please let me know how you did it).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Show and Tell: Not

Nothing knit-wise is ready to be shown to you. Nothing newsworthy to tell you about.

Except. Folks. The Thirteenth Tale. What a book. What. A. Book. You must read it if you haven't already. However, I warn you: it will spoil any other book for you. It's impossible to find a book to read after finising The Thirteenth Tale. Nothing else is worthy.

Please. Read the book.

More soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me!


two more fuzzies
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Today is my knitting anniversary. Three years ago, on Super Bowl Sunday, I sat down in front of our TV with a Lion Brand "Learn to Knit" kit and made a hole-y scarf out of Homespun. I was hooked (or needled, as the case may be). So every Super Bowl Sunday I celebrate my knitiversary by starting a new project during the big game. This year, I think it will be 'wicked' in (of course) cotton ease. Stay tuned.

Speaking of cotton ease, I dove into stash to make these two hats for Kate's Boston Children's Hospital hat drive. The one on the left is blue cotton ease with cp fizz, the one on the right is one of the candy pinks cotton ease with cp fizz. So that's four hats for them total, now, my goal, and I'll give these to Jodie to send off when I see her this week for coffee and knitting.


navajo ply
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I mentioned earlier that one of the highlights of Madrona was learning how to Navajo ply. Here's a picture of the same fiber spun two different ways: on the right is a two ply (two singles on two bobbins plied together) and on the left is a navajo ply (one single on one bobbin, plied into a three ply yarn). I'd describe the technique but it wouldn't make any sense (no surprise there), so go here if you want to learn more about it. What I didn't mention was that I found a kindred spinning soul who was also enchanted and enamored by the navajo ply (hey Kim! You rock at the navajo ply). She's got a good navajo ply picture on her blog. Plus she's a hoot.

Go COLTS! I used to live in Chicago so I'll always love da bears, but I really want my former school mate Peyton (we were at UT at the same time!!!) to win the big one.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Silent poetry reading

I know the Stars
by Sara Teasdale

I know the stars by their names,
Aldebaran, Altair,
And I know the path they take
Up heaven's broad blue stair.

I know the secrets of men
By the look of their eyes,
Their gray thoughts, their strange thoughts
Have made me sad and wise.

But your eyes are dark to me
Though they seem to call and call --
I cannot tell if you love me
Or do not love me at all.

I know many things,
But the years come and go,
I shall die not knowing
The thing I long to know.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Little Aran Sweaters for my Feet


IMG_0374.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
This picture doesn't do them justice (How many times have I said that?) but here are the finished Aran socks. I created the pattern myself, and they're knit in dark grey regia. So there you go, resolution met!

I love these socks. Click on the pic...it will be bigger and my love for these socks will make more sense. The leg is seed stitch (or moss stitch, I didn't think there was a difference but Jodie says on one you k1p1 and on the other you k2p2. Regardless, knit the purls and purl the knits on the next row, continue til you're done). There is a cable that goes down the side of the leg, and then I sort of jerryrigged the heel so the cable continues down the side of the foot. Basically, I knit the sock on two needles: twenty stitches of seed stitch and eight stitches of cable per needle. When it came time to do the heel, just a regular flap heel, I moved eight cable stitches over to the other needle and did the heel based on twenty stitches. After I picked up stitches, I decreased the 'top' of the sock in the seed stitch area til I had twelve seed stitches and two eight sttich cables (28 stitches) and then did decreases on the other needle with the heel til I got down to 28 stitches on that needle too.

And now it shoudl be abundantly clear that I can never write patterns.

I have another plain sock pattern in my head and on graph paper, so I'm excited about starting a new project!