Friday, March 30, 2007

Wave those flames

flame wave top
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Or flame those waves.

I finished the first 'flame wave' sock (try saying 'flame wave' three times fast. Go on, I'll wait).

This is from the IK "Favorite Socks" book (which I love) and were designed by Ann Budd (sock designer extraordinaire). The yarn is Elann Esprit, and I used probably 2/3 of the ball on the sock (only did two repeats for the leg, and the pattern calls for three, but you know me, instant gratification is important). I like the sort of pale pastel moss green color of the socks, and I love this yarn. I'm very pleased with how this turned out. I also had a kitchener epiphany when using this yarn (pull really, really tight) so even the toes look good now!

flame wave side
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Here is the sock from the side (oops, I cut my toes off...ouch!). The pattern is very subtle and I like that a lot, given my new desire to make more textured socks and less stripey socks.

If you have a second, would you please bop over to Tim's new web site ? He's starting to market his ceramics and has started his website as an adjunct to the information he's mailing out to galleries. Hopefully he'll have some interest soon! Thanks!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just Call Me Tina

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
On the other hand, maybe not.

Anyway...I finished the Tina top and I really like it. YOu might have to click on the picture to make it bigger to see the details that I like, including the cables up at the top and the wide ribbing at the bottom. I don't think I've knit a Berroco pattern before but it was pretty well-written. I knit this up with Wildflower DK that I"ve had in the stash for years, and really like the DK weight (it's a bit splitty, that yarn, but no problem).

I threw this on and took the pic before I had woven in ends or blocked, so it will probably even look better once I do those things.

I finished this after Tim and I played hooky on the coast for part of the day yesterday. It was incredibly windy and the breakers were huge, so we played fetch with the doggles in the bay area and then walked to the edge of the beach before we gave up. We had a great lunch in Florence and then visited galleries so Tim could do some 'research'. He is about ready to launch his website...stay tuned!

Monday, March 26, 2007

"Ooops...Forgot the Gas"

Just a quickie to let you know that I'm back from my whirlwind trip to LA (the OC to be exact) where some knitting was done but not much. But a lot of good work on our book and our website to promote the book was done too. So I'm happy.

The travelling (which I HATE, I'm not a good traveller whatsoever) was pretty hassle-free except for the final leg. To get from LA to Eugene, one must stop in Medford (near the Southern Oregon border). So we're in Medford at around 10:10 pm, about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and the flight attendants tell us we'll be on the ground for just about five minutes and then we'll be off to Eugene.

A few minutes later the cabin door is shut. This is followed by much consternation at the front of the plane between pilots and flight attendants. Door is opened. Flight attendant comes back on..."we'll be here a few more moments. Apparently we need gas."

Yes. Gas. To fly the plane.

A few mintues pass. The flight attendant comes back on. "We can't seem to find the gas guy. As soon as we do, we'll fill up and be on our way."

Gotta love Horizon Air.

Friday, March 23, 2007


handspun shawl
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I have four projects on the needles, and am off on a quick trip to LA where I'll take a fifth one (socks on bamboo needles, which have always been screener-friendly). (Flame Wave socks from the new IK book, btw). So nothing is really growing at the rate I'd like, and that will slow down. Once I finish the Tina top, it will be only socks and this shawl until August (I know, I know, what about my goal to use up my cotton ease stash on tanks? I'll probably throw a tank in there, maybe in June).

So. This shawl. It is made of all my handspun (really) (except for some that is supposed to be a sweater for Tim, not sure if this will ever happen). The foot (mine) is there for reference. Anyway, I'm knitting it 'long ways' which means that 1. there are something like 265 stitches on the needles and 2. it takes me about 20 minutes to knit a row if I don't mess up. I thought I might be able to knit this in 20 rows or so but I think I've done about 25 rows and it is barely a scarf wide. So I keep going. It's done in linen stitch (which I really like) and it seems to be working out well. My goal is to have it done to submit to the Lane County Fair in August. Stay tuned.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
More growing: grow a blanket with us. My friend Jodie is organizing a very fun project: sort of a travelling charity blanket with yarn swap/gifties included. It's a great cause that means a lot to Jodie, and so means a lot to those of us who call Jodie our friend. Visit her Charity Blanket Swap blog to learn more and to sign up.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And last but not least...the growing continues. Sweet William on the left hand side, Hollyhocks on the right. I'm not sure how I got so many seeds into that one little cubby for the Sweet Williams, so that will probably end in early demises for some of the seeds. But the hollyhocks seem pretty much like they should be. Hopefully the growing will continue.

What are you growing lately?

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I'm very happy.

Both trays of seeds are springing to life (pun intended). Look in the back row there...three count 'em three sunflowers (oh, are there four?) doing salut to the sun. In the middle row, some daisies are joining in. And in the other tray, the Sweet William and Hollyhocks are battling it out for who can sprout the most.

I'm very happy. But I said that.

For some reason, I'm noticing spring more this year than I usually do. Maybe it is the lack of rain, maybe it is our daily walks with the pups where we can chart the greening up of our neighborhood, maybe it is my own internal clock that is counting down to the Return to Work. But although I am struggling with the change in my routine, I'm appreciating spring. So with the bad comes the good.

And yes, there is knitting going on here...I'll show you some stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My head hurts: no clever title

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've been dealing with a series of minor annoying frustrations and my head is a-hurtin', but I did want to show you this sock.

It's a pattern from the new IK sock it called "Favorite Socks" or something like that? Anyway. It's in that IK book (you can see the page with the pattern on it here). The yarn is some beautiful yarn from Sundara, blue overdyed with black I think, I'm not sure, but it is just a lovely, lovely yarn. The pattern is beautiful too. I finished it with a star toe because I thought it would fit a bit more with pattern. It won't look so nipple-y when I wear it. Or them. Assuming another one gets done.

I read "Friday Night Knitting Club". {snore}. It wasn't bad at the beginning but then just got , oh I don't know, contrived? Alls I know is that I kept rolling my eyes, and then sped-read through the last 50 pages.Need a good read? Go read "The Thirteenth Tale" or "The Double Bind".

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Insert Sad Face Here

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Two weeks from now I'll be back at work. I loved having a sabbatical. I think we should all have sabbaticals all the time.

Please, oh God of the Lottery, please let us win soon.

Anyway, here is the back of what was considered the cursed Tina top but actually worked up fairly fast for DK weight yarn. It looks good. I like this.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And in the sprouchwatch: yes, my friends, we have sprouts. Who says I have a black thumb??

I'm already back in the teaching/research/service swing and quickly see my knitting time going buh-bye. Oh well.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not Much to See, but I'll Show You Anyway

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
We have had several beautiful spring days, and I've been in the garden getting that into a bit of shape for the season. The tulips are a nice spot of sun away from coming up, and there's a lot of Unidentified Green Shoots coming up in the will be interesting to see just what those are. We've always had a, um, haphazard relationship to the garden: throw stuff in and see what happens. But last summer, we tried something new. It's called watering, and giving that Oregon summers are very dry, it seems to have done a lot to encourage the naturalizing process.

Who knew?

Well, probalby you did, if you know anything at all about gardening. But you can see what a total Horticultural Loser I am.

THis sock is for Tim, and it is the sock that lives by my computer, so I only work on it during slow downloads (which gives me a bit of time every day). It's koigu. It's pretty in a macho kind of way, and I'm doing a mindless 2/2 rib for he leg and then a basic rest of sock.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
To celebrate spring, we put the top down on the Miata and cruised 45 miles up I-5 to the little town of Albany. Not much to Albany, except 1) it has a Del Taco and 2) we can drive home through small towns and farms and backroads (well, I guess we could drive up that way too, although we tend to be in a hurry to get to Del Taco). For the first time, I knit in the convertible with the top down, quite an experience.

SPROUT WATCH! SPROUT WATCH! Yep, nothing is happening. Stay tuned.

I worked on the cursed Tina top, which is actually moving along nicely, now that I can count.

So the first half of the weekend was good. It is drizzly today, so we'll setle down and watch the Ducks in Round 2 of the NCAA basketball tournament. Go Ducks!

PS. If you feed your dogs and cats wet food, please check this website for a list of recalled foods. This is a huge list, tons of store brands as well as certain high end foods like Hills and Iams (not all products, just a few).

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I've been working on the 'Tina' top for a few days, and was surprised last night when I was ready for the cabled yoke on the back piece.

Imagine my surprised that I discovered I HAD NOT CAST ON ENOUGH STITCHES! I was 13 stitches short...which is about 3 inches..which is basically not make up able.

So rip rip rip and cast on again. I thought it had gone too quickly!

And. If that isn't enough. I had to rip out half of the leg of a koigu sock I was working on for Tim. I have bad knitting karma for the past few days.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Promise of Spring

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Spring officially starts on, when, next Monday or Tuesday? It is finally starting to feel like spring here...great smells in the air, little grape hyacinths busting out in the front garden, and last night about a dozen of Cody and Shasta's four legged buddies were at the park a few doors down in the early evening...the first of many evenings when our 'dogs on leashes only' turns into a Renegade Dog Park for an hour or so.

Oh. And spring socks. I finished the play socks...keep in mind that this is only my second 'real' fair isle project and I totally forgot to do something about that jog when yo ucome to an end of the row. Anyway. These were totally free formed...aside form the pattern at the tip top of the cuff I made this up as I went along. Very fun.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And one more promise of spring. I spent an hour or so on Sunday descimating our front garden. Here's what happened. About six years ago, I planted some type of plant that displays bright red little flags during July and August. The hummingbirds love it, it was very drought tolerant, and I think it was related to a tobacco plant. Anyway. Two years ago we focused on killing the morning glories that had taken over the front yard and gardens. Well, apparently once we killed the morning glories, we allowed the mysterious Red Flag plant to have Free Reign over the front garden, and it put out shoots everywhere, I mean everywhere. So I started out with maybe two of these plants, and now (well, before Sunday) there were probably eight or nine. They didn't seem to choke out other plants, but there were just too darn many of them. Anyway. I pulled as much of the plant out of the front garden, and now of course need something to replace it/them.

So, I'm going to start some seeds inside...this is NOT something I do as in the best of times I have a very pale green thumb. But we'll see. I'll get you posted of my progress here, but just to get started, here are the newly planted daisies, sunflowers, hollyhocks and sweet william. Keep your fingers crossed, especially if they're green.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bam. Bam. Bam.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
What's the sound, you ask?

It's the sound of me finishing things. Tim's STR medium weight socks? Bam. My Tempting top? Bam. The Play Socks? Once I get them kitchenered: bam.

I never understand this about my knitting. I can have several projects in various states of completion say one week ago and they all finish up at just about the same time. What's up with that?

I'll show you Tempting once I get the proper undergarments (read, strapless bra, one could wear it with a regular bra but it will look better with a little revealed collarbone).

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
So, I cast on for three new things in the past two days, and now we'll see when they finish. First, a sleeveless sweater called "Tina" from the Berroco free pattern page (if you want to see it, clickhere ). I also cast on for socks for Tim using the koigu at the top and socks for me from a pattern from the new IK socks book using Sundara yarn (bottom).

Sundara yarn is absolutely lovely. I noticed that she's excepting sign ups for the summer/fall sock club. I was excited...until I noticed the price. $125 for three sock kits (pattern, yarn, shipping). Her yarn is really beauitful, but that's about a 100% premium over the cost of the yarn for the pattern and for the fact that the yarn is a color exclusive to the Petals club. I can't really rationalize that right now (oh how I wish I could!). It seems to be a trend among sock yarn clubs to be a bit pricey, and I wonder if this will work for a bit but then hurt them i n the end. We'll see.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3

And if you get that reference you are as old and as cool as me (snort).

Anyway, I've been in a MOOD all week. Cross. Grouchy. OCD. You name it. Tim is a good guy for putting up with it.

Not sure what brought this one...change in a weather (hints, teases of spring), bored with knitting, don't want to go back to work post sabbatical, and a few professional disappointments I won't go into here. So, to get myself out of the mood, I thought I'd try to establish my reasons to be cheerful.

So here goes.

1. The new skylights are in, it is raining, and there are no leaks.
2. I walked into our bedroom, and both cats were curled up adorabl with each other.
3. When the sun is out, the trees are blooming so beautifully.
4. Daffodils and grape hyacinths are starting to appear in my garden.
5. Finches! Finches! Finches! (Note to self, fill feeder).
6. The guys who installed the skylights found many, many hornets nests, and so hopefully we won't have a hornet-happy backyard this summer.

I'm feeling better all ready. Do you have reasons to be cheerful?

Edited to add: I just looked at the January One blog, which has the same post title as mine. I swear I didn't copy her! All I can say is 'great minds'.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Welcome Back My Friends..

more tempting
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
..To the Knit that Never Ends.

Yes, I'm still working on Tempting.I think I have 3.5 rounds left, and as each round is something like 250 stitches, it is a ways to being done.

You know, a few weeks ago, I thought "from now on, all my garments will be knit in DK weight yarn. It looks better on a zaftig gal like me, and I like the overall look of the finished fabric better."

Silly, silly me.

While this has been my mindless project, I'm just tired of it. I like it, but I'm tired of it. I think the weight of the project at this point, combined with the size 5 needles, has really done a number on my right hand. (I promise to stop complaining about it now, I promise). I was thinking of knitting Tempting 2 (and I have the yarn) but maybe I need a little break from size 5s. Ya think?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Play

play #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I'm a bit concerned...I think I have either Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Repetitive Stress Whatever. I think it comes on when I spend too much time on the computer (it's the trackpad, not the typing, that gets me) and it really kills me when I'm knitting, especially on size 5's. It sounds silly, but smaller than that is ok, and larger than that is ok too. At least I can knit a bit longer before I have to stop.

These socks...the "Play" socks...were knit on 4s, and the pattern was just made up as I went along. I'll do another sock to sort-of-but-not-really match. This was so fun to do. And I love the yarn. But you knew that.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Jessie Cat is in charge of Inventory Control for the Sock Yarn Stash. More yarn has joined the group: the first sock yarn for 2007 from STR, some bright happy yarn from Mystical Creations at etsy, and my first kit from the Red Bird Knits sock club for Latvian WEdding socks. Those should be awesome.

birthday boy
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And last but definitely, most definitely not least....yesterday was my sweet Cody Pup's 11th birthday. Even though he is by all accounts an old man, he'll always be my little baby. When we first brought him home, we'd proportion out his life relative to his arrival at our house..."we've had Cody for 1/7 of his life, we've had Cody for 1/2 of his life" etc. Now we've had Cody for 98.77% of his life, and he's still every bit the puppy we brought home. And we wouldn't have it any other way. We love you little guy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


fair isle 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
A few days ago I showed you the haul of Elann Esprit (aka faux fixation) that had arrived. I've been playing around with fair isle designs for socks for a few days, but on Friday I just sat down and started playing with designs and patterns on the yarn.

This is upside down by the way...the two-tone blue at the top is the heel of the sock, and the rest is the cuff. Anyway, it's two colors of pink and three colors of blue. I used a chart that I found online for the clover motif at the top, and for the rest have just been experimenting...knitting a few rows, deciding if I liked how it looked, and then either ripping it out or moving to the next area.

This is really fun. I've only done a few fair isle things and socks are great to learn on: knit too tight, see stitches disappear, rip and try again.

Yes, lots of ripping going on with this sock. And that's OK.

I will do a matching sock with different motifs, just to continue to enjoy playing.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I was asked to post a picture of Louise, my lop eared rabbit, who rarely appears on the blog. She's definitely the most quiet animal in the house, and the most low maintenance. We've had her almost 7 years...she was a Christmas present from Tim, and was originally destined to be named Scarlett O'Hare but she came home and was such a Louise that the name stayed.

Louise came home before I started knitting, so to answer those inevitable questions, no, I don't knit her fur. I could probably spin it but it would have to be mixed with something else and it has a very short staple. It is incredibly soft though. And lots of it.

Louise is now a Senior Citizen Bun Bun, and is content to spend all of her time in her house in the living room. She will occasionally come out to run around but really prefers the quiet life.

So that's Louise.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fixated on Fixation

first fixations
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Have you tried Cascade Fixation? I know I've been blathering about it for a bit, but I love these socks I made with it: it's a mock cable rib, knit on size 4 needles, lickety split.

The blue is a richer blue than it shows up in this picture.

While these socks are a bit thicker than most, they're mostly cotton and they have a great squishy feel that I really like.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And did I mention I was makin the Tempting sweater from Knitty? I finally got gauge with the Cotton-ease in the stash (oh, I feel like I'm CHEATING on Cotton-ease now that I love fixation but I still love you oh so much my wonderful cotton-ease).

Stoopid Flickr. It rotates my pictures but then doesn't save the rotation for posting to blogger. Maybe it's stoopid blogger. Whatever. Sorry about the crick that is now in your neck as you twist to see my Tempting. EDITED: OK maybe I"m the stoopid one. I swear to you, it did not look like this the first time I posted.

Anyway. Tempting in my mindless knit...15 inches of k2 p2 rib followed by the excitement of adding little sleeves. I have about 5 inches of yoke to go and then I'm done with this baby. And I found yarn in the stash to make tempting 2!

Need help from y'all. My right hand is killing me...I think too much using the trackpad on the laptop yesterday. Have you tried those therapeutic gloves? Any good ones? ANy other ways to get rid of hand pain? Let me know!