Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Life Right Now

Originally uploaded by kbshee
We are in a moment of peace and calm..Tim is home, Cody feels pretty good, and Juneau seems to love being with us.

It's hard to take a picture of her, I think because she's just a bit bigger than we're used to. She is so mellow, and has a sweet and gentle nature. We introduced her to the other dogs in the neighborhood at the ersatz dog park and she did great. She met 4 pound Century this morning and was very polite. She has exchanged sniffs with Louise the rabbit and even the Captain doesn't scream bloody murder when she wanders over by his cage.

.5 clue 4
Originally uploaded by kbshee

She wants nothing except to be with us and Cody, which is beautiful.

She also seems to be blissfully ignorant of chewing anything, and doesn't seem to even acknowledge that knitting happens in the house. She sat with me while I finished the first half of Clue 4 and gives her puppy look of approval.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hello, Juneau!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Please say hello to our beautiful green eyed girl who came home from Greenhill today.

So far, Cody seems to be good with her and the cats already adore her. Captain MacGregor, though, is not so sure.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim's away, and Cody is doing pretty well, and I've hung out with Cody and gotten a lot done this weekend (and it is still Sunday morning). Specifically:

1. I sewed together the panels for my Great American Aran Afghan (sorry for bad picture...I was going to put the panels on our bed but it was covered in cats so I put them on the kitchen floor).

2. I completed about 60 more rows of Mystery Shawl.

3. I posted a lot of stuff for destashing on my Ravely site. I'll also post this on KR later today. But if you're interested in some KNit Picks Essentials, Mission Falls Cotton in Lilac, some Patons Kroy or Regia Sock yarn, Mohair yarn, or Bearfoot drop me an email and I'll send you a picture.

4. I got my Virtual Vacation Pal's gift together.

5. I started "The Diana Chronicles" and got so engrossed, this happened:

Originally uploaded by kbshee

I guess I'm officially an extreme knitter now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Chemo Dog!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Cody had his first chemo treatment yesterday...it was kind of a crazy day, with taking Tim to the airport at 5 am, driving up to Corvallis for a 9:45 appt, being there til 11:30, leaving Cody there and driving home, leaving to go back up at 3:30 and not leaving Corvallis til 6:30, meaning we got home at 7:15 as I sped pretty much all the way home.

But it was a good day. Cody did fine; any side effects will start tomorrow. Most common is nausea, and they have two drugs that they can give you for that: one is cheap and only sort of effective, one is very expensive ($200 to treat nausea for one chemo appt, more than the chemo itself) and very effective. They asked if I was OK giving Cody a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, and I said sure; we did sub-q on our old cat girls for many years. The good news is that the highly effective drug, in subq form, is only $25. So i got that and gave him his first shot today while he was eating, he gave me a 'whatcha doing'" look but other wise seemed fine.

Needless to say, no knitting was done yesterday, even though I was doing a lot of sitting around. I spent time talking with other pet Moms waiting diagnoses (hi Bean the Cat's Mom! Hi Roxie the dog's Mom!). The good news was that both Bean and Roxie are fine...no cancer! Yay! It was good to be part of a bit of happiness in what can be a very sad place.

Cody is scheduled for 5 chemo treatments every 3 weeks, and Dr. H. feels pretty confident he'll stick around (Cody that is) for all of them. That is happy news for us. He feels so good that it's hard for us to believe that he is so very sick, and I forget that bad news is just around the corner. But we're living to enjoy every day. And that said...time for a walk and then a car ride to Borders. Good Puppy Times!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Contain Your Enthusiasm..

Originally uploaded by kbshee
...as you gaze upon this most exciting piece of knitting.

It's the back of a sweater. A raglan sweater..from the Rowan book...and it's pretty dull, if I do say so myself. THe original sweater in the book had a bit of intarsia on it, but I don't Do intarsia, so it is a solid color. It's Rowan Botany...a great yarn that is sadly discontinued.

But note the sort of rickrackiness on the bottom which gives the sweater a bit of a punch. Just a bit. Don't want to OverDo.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let The Summer Begin!

I turned in my grades for my summer school class, and so let the summer officially begin!

I finished the Deathly Hallows...it was very complex, and you really had to pay attention...and not nearly enough of the Hogwartians we love so well (other than Harry, Ron and Hermione, of course). Lots of death. But a good ending and the last 150 pages..wow.

Now, on to Summer! I have a couple academic papers I want to crank out, as well as editing the Word of Mouth book that I have written about (and may be out by the end of the year). And knitting...lots of knitting. I'm planning to try to finish off the Aran Afghan that I've been working on forever...time to get that one finished! And lots of new things in the works, including the stained class fan bag that you might have seen at Julia's site as well as socksockssocks and figuring out what to make with my new obsessions: Rowan Yarns.

Tim is off to St. Louis this weekend..we were both supposed to go as one of my former students is getting married, but Cody starts chemo on Thursday and we don't feel right leaving him alone r giving this task to someone else. So I'll have lots of knitting time (think Aran Afghan and Mystery Stole).

Today, though, the main task is to clean off my desk and organize the yarn, patterns, bills (oops), academic articles and mole recipes that have all collected there for the past several weeks. Hopefully that will make me feel like I accomplished something!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Three down...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the third clue of MS3...and thought I'd share a photo that includes the beads! I'll post one of the whole hot mess later but thought you'd like to see that indeed I'm doing the beaded option.

I'm on a Potter break...I'm trying to savor HPATDH instead of rushrushrushing through it...and to do so, I did check the epilogue on Wikipedia to see who died. Or rather, to see who, if anyone, of the Harry-Ron-Herminione trio dies. I'm not telling. But it does make it easier to savor the book. And man, is it something!

I'm luckily working on a mindless raglan sweater which is perfect Potter knitting.

Before I get back to it, I wanted to answer a few questions/comments that I've received:

1. First, this is an oldie, but yes, Alyssa, anyone who is an official Oregonian has to own a variety of outdoor sports equipment and, even more importantly, use it regardless of the weather (which, frankly, is either wet or not. Mostly wet. But really not cold, and never really hot).

2. "The Deadliest Catch" is a Discovery Channel show that follows the 'adventures' of crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. While it gets a bit repetitive (look, a big pot of crabs) it is oddly fascinating. Those who live in Florida might enjoy a little break from hot weather by watching it.

3. Similarly, "Ice Road Truckers" looks at people who drive trucks on the Ice Road in Northern Canada. Being on the history channel, it doesn't have quite the creative title as "The Deadliest Catch". Anyway, these trucker guys drive across frozen lakes to bring supplies to diamond mines in Canada (hey, did YOU know there were diamond mines in Canada? I thought they were all in Africa or something. You know, "Blood Diamond." Anyway). We've only seen one episode but taped a mini-marathon. Not quite the absorbing plot lines (basically, will the trucks crash and will the ice crack seems to be it) but the truckers do hang out at a bar called the Monkey Tree in Yellowknife, Canada. That makes me laugh.

4. Um, ravelry? Too cool. Carol, are you there? I looked for you and couldn't find you.

Enjoy the HP book everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I'm on ravelry!


I'll be your friend!


The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!


Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Timbers are Shivering!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I joined the Yarn Pirate sock club, and the first package came today. It includes a gorgeous skein of 'rum runner' yarn, as well as a button, a magnet, and a cake of soap. Very cool, and gorgeous yarn. I love me a sock club. What isn't too love? Who can't do without more sock yarn?

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit...no good reason why except it is the end of my short summer term and I've been busy wrapping that up, as well as moving ahead with things on my word of mouth book and, of course, taking care of and spending time with Cody. He's doing great...he's basically the same wonderful dog he has always been, only with a bit less hair (from the shaving). We start chemo a week from tomorrow. Our vets warn that there is a very small likelihood that it will extend his life to any great extent, but if we didn't do this we would always wonder if we should have. So we will. There are very, very few downsides with doing chemo with dogs, but we will stop if there is any discomfort or pain with him at all.

one fb
Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is a bad picture (mostly because I tried to find a way to photograph this and avoid showing you all the non-sewn-in bits) but here is my first Summer Solstice Slip Sock (or something like that) from the Rockin' Socks Club most recent mailing. It's a great color, and the pattern is complex enough to look cool but simple enough to work while watching mindless TV.

SPeaking of which...anyone watching "Ice Road Truckers"? We taped it last night....we sort of got a little hooked on "Deadliest Catch" and this is supposed to be sort of like that. I'm a bit embarassed to tell you this but I'll go ahead: we tend to eat up those type of programs while the 'quality' stuff like Simon Schama's Story of Art and Planet Earth await quietly on the DVR for those times we have nothing at all to watch. Oh well.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hot Mess: Through Clue 2

Originally uploaded by kbshee
There hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on here as you might imagine, but I did want to show you a picture of my Mystery Shawl, through the completion of row 150.I have a few of the new rows done but not a lot, and I'm sure I'll be behind for a while.

Tim Gunn, of Project Runway fame, coined the term 'hot mess' when the designers came up with something indescribably awful. And that is how I refer to my Mystery Stole. I could point out all the erros (and friends, there are a lot) but I really, really enjoy knitting this! If I can be happy wtih the Hot Messness then others can be too.

Cody is having an amazing recovery, and we will enjoy and treasure every day he has left with us, be they many or few.

And...I heard from the Ravelry people, and while I am #5999 on the list I might get my invite this week! Now that my summer school class is finishing the timing is good.

Thanks again for everyone who posted and wished Cody good thoughts. He sends his puppy smile to you all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thank you so much

I can't tell you how much your comments about Cody and your good thoughts help during this time. Update: just got Cody home. THere seems to be quite a bit of cancer in his liver, which may mean that we won't do chemo and that he just has a few months with us left. But we'll know more next week. I don't think we can really get any worse news than this so I think we only have good places to go now.

And in case you were wondering:

You Are: 70% Dog, 30% Cat

You and dogs definitely have a lot in common.
You're both goofy, happy, and content with the small things in life.
However, you're definitely not as needy as the average dog. You need your down time occasionally.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not a Good Day

While Cody was being prepped, the surgeon found that what was thought to be a benign lump on his spleen was a sarcoma. These are highly agressive and fatal for dogs. At this time, Cody is having a spleenectomy as I write this. If he gets through that OK, we'll have him on chemo for about six months, and hopefully end up with having him around for about another nine months.

While we're trying to find the bright side in this, it is really hard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get Yer Paws Off My Sailor Girls!

jessie cat and the sailor girls
Originally uploaded by kbshee
sez Jessie Cat.

These socks are so pretty. And there's a rumor afoot that there's going to be a sock club at A Swell Yarn Shop. I may have to skip it this time around but we'll see what happens at sign up time.

Not much to show or tell you as there hasn't been a lot of knitting here. First, it is hot. Yes, I know it is hot where you are too, and I'm sorry about that. And while it isn't too hot to knit, it must be getting close. Yesterday we reached 100 here in Eugene and today the high is to be 95 or so. Yes. Hot.

Tim took Cody to the Vet Clinic in Corvallis yesterday for more tests and examinations Cody spent most of the day there and then we drove back up late afternoon to pick him up and meet with Dr. Helfand, the oncologist. The bottom line is that the tests there confirmed what our vet Priscilla had thought about Cody's lumps and bumps, which is all basically positive except for his foot. Dr. H. thinks that radiation might be problematic for Cody, since his foot is so slender and radiation might hurt more than it helps.

So today Tim goes back up to meet with the oncological surgeon, and then we'll schedule the surgery to remove the sarcoma. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be next week, but it will be soon. UPDATE: it will be tomorrow. He's spending the night in Corvallis and hopefully he'll be home at the end of the day tomorrow.

Cody is handling this all fine...he's been patient with missing breakfast in order to arrive fasted, he's been great in the one hour car ride in the hot weather, he's tolerated having his entire belly shaved to have an ultrasound, and he's been fine with constant poking to draw samples of his various lumps and bumps. He is such a great dog. I know everyone feels that way about their dogs, but he really is incredibly trusting and loving with all types of people. If you can, please continue to hold a good thought for our little guy for the next week or so. Cody really appreciates it, and sends a big puppy smile your way.

The feeling is that they won't get all the cancer, and that we have to be comfortable with the risk that the cancer will return. The alternative that, that is, to make him 100% cancer free, is amputation, and while he would probably do fine with that we're just not ready to go to that place yet. I think Dr. H. agrees with that, so we'll go with the surgery and see what happens.

Stay cool!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Plants in front garden: planted
Mulch on plants in front garden: spread
Gauge on new rowan sweater: getting closer
Healthy fruit salad: made
Plumber visit to unclog drain that I clogged up after putting a bunch of melon rinds down the disposable: completed
Papers graded: innumerous
Weird sunburn on the strip of skin between shorts and top of shirt: attained
Mystery stole: 129 rows completed
New STR socks: cast on
Sailor girls: awaiting their vinegar bath

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Thing that HAVE Changed in the Past Two Days

first finished rowan sweater
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I am officially a Rowan Knitter.

I finished my first Rowan sweater! Yay! Pip Pip and Cheerio! This is from 'the Best of Rowan" and was designed by Amanda Griffiths. It's a raglan sweater which some people don't care for but I love. It has cables around the raglan. The sleeves are long enough. It is now being blocked to make it a smigola longer (it's cotton..Cotton Fleece to be exact) and I am tickled pink. Or what would a brit say? I'm Chuffed? Rosy?

I'm a loose knitter, as you can see by the manhole cover sized holes on my MS.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And while it is a bit of a Hot Mess, I sort of love my Mystery Stole 3. I'm on row 117 (this is only the first 105 or so) and it is really fun to do. So what if I lose a stitch here or there? I can pretty much read enough to know where to add one. Key words: pretty much. There's only so much tinking a knitter can do before she wants to scream (a knitter=me).

You might also note that I am a very loose knitter. Stop the smutty thoughts, you know what I mean. I sort of knew I was a loose knitter but it came back to me at Madrona when I was sitting next to a woman and we were wearing the EXACT SAME socks from the STR club only her lace holes were about half the size of mine "Wow. You're a loose one" she said, with sort of horrified amazement in her voice. She then recovered and said "but I'm a really tight one." Yeah hon, you are.

Anyway. The reason this is a problem now is that I"m off to start another Rowan raglan sweater (it's Duffy, from the same book, I hate the twee little Rowan names but whatever) and I have the recommended yarn, Rowan Botany, which is supposed to have a gauge of 28 stitches for every four inches and you're supposed get this on size 3s. OK. I automatically size down a few (or six) needle sizes but friends? I cannot fathom, canNOT FATHom, the idea of knitting an ENTIRE sweater on size 0 or 1 needles. I. Just. Can't. So, I did a sw-sw-sw on size 2s and got sort of close. maybe 28 stitches is about 5 inches. So I think I'm going to be a bad, bad knitter and knit a small size with my current gauge and that might get me the sweater I want.

I know, I KNOW, I will live to regret this. But that's what i'm doing.
And PS. Am I the only knitter on the planet who hasn't gotten his or her Ravelry invitation? They hate me. They probably don't let in loose knitters.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Things that have not changed in two days

-I'm still working on the sleeves
-I'm still not finished with Clue #1
-MS3 still looks nothing like the pictures posted by 'good' lace knitters
-the plants in the front yard are still not planted

However, I have kayaked an additional four miles, have a somewhat more even tan (I know, bad me), and have kept one dog from completely freaking out on Independence Day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Sleeve Vortex

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been working on the sleeves for my Short Raglan Sweater from "The Best of Rowan". I finished both the front and the back, and now am in the sleeve vortex. It is a raglan sleeve, and I am still on the increases: two stitches added every third row. Once I get to the decreases, though, it should go a bit faster, as there are two decreases every right side row.

We had some (relatively) good news about Cody today...the cancer has not spread and we will be working with an oncologist at the OSU vet school to figure out the next steps. We might do some radiation to shrink it a bit before it is removed, or the guy at OSU might be able to take it off wtihout it, perhaps having radiation after. We're lucky that the timing is right and we both have some free time to travel around Oregon taking Cody to see various vets. Our vet Priscilla thinks that once we get through this he can have his full life as expected (ie he'd have a good four years left with us), I would honestly be happy to split the difference at this point. But anyway, we're starting on the journey with him, and hopefully in a few months this will all be behind us. Thanks for your good thoughts about our little guy. He sends a big 'nose buzz' to all.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Visual Proof

Row 61
Originally uploaded by kbshee
We begin today with evidence that while I can knit lace, I don't knit lace very well. This is the first 61 or so rows of Mystery Stole #3. I thought I was doing pretty well until I looked at the blogs of some other people who are also doing MS3, and their lace is drop dead gorgeous.

I do have some lace rules for myself:

-one yo a stitch off isn't going to ruin the whole thing

-if the row count is one stitch off, then M1 is your best friend

-perfection is way overrated.

This is Zephyr yarn,a nd there are even beads in this although hard to see, and I'm not sure if they are enhancing the project or not. But beads. And lace. Good for me.

front #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And more visual evidence that indeed we are not living at the site of a crater hit or a nuclear event, but rather we are concerned and caring homeowners who are trying to make our neighborhood beautiful. Two years ago we covered our weedy lawn with weed barrier and mulch in order to kill off the pretty yet lethal morning glories that had taken over the lawn. We did a pretty good job, and finally decided that it was time to make something out of our front lawn. .

Step one: the purchase of five quaking aspens, three ina 'grove' in the enter of the picture and two to the 'right'.

front #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Step 2: two trips to the riverbed to pick up buckets of river rock

Step 3: three visits to three different nurseries (Saturday Farmer's market, Grey's, and Down to Earth) to get some plants for the center garden.

We now have sweet little rock lined paths around the tiny front yard and a garden in the middle that will soon host a butterfly bush, a foxglove, some yarrow, and some coreopsis, as well as rogue lavenders from around the yarn and several creeping plants that should serve as groundcover. Tim will be toting in some dirt to build up the center garden a bit and then we'll get planting. We also bought some bushes for the 'perimeter' of the yarn (ie by the fence and the house) to green that up a bit.