Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What I can't find

My rainpants
My rubber boots
Size 3 circs

But other than that I think I'm ready. Off until the weekend after Labor Day for good times in Canada with Tim, Cody and Juneau.
See you soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blue and Grey

ravenclaw house socks
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Everything...yep, everything...that I'm knitting now is either blue or grey. Or both.

Like my Ravenclaw Socks! From "Charmed Knits". I love these socks. M first stripes They almost match! I think they're one row off on the foot. Ah well. I still like them.

So I also have Arwen (blue), Tangled Yoke Cardigan (grey) and Mystery Stole (blue). Blue and grey. I'm a little Civil War Microcosm.

I'll find some more sock yarn to take on vacation (two more days! woopee!). Today we're going to go practice wet exits, and then tomorrow we pack and I try to figure out what knitting goes with us.

We had a fun weekend...we went to a Local Clay picnic (Local Clay is a group of potters) and I met some of Tim's potting colleagues. Yesterday we took the dogs swimming (we've been waiting for Lepto vaccines to kick in) and Cody had a great time but Juneau wasn't so sure.

I had a philosophical post on Sock Clubs and Knit A Longs in my head but it will have to wait.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

If Lovin' You is Wrong..

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Dear Rowan Cashsoft 4 Ply,

Even though Elann just recently introduced us, I have to write and tell you how deeply, deeply attracted I am to you, and how I wonder if there is any way we might spend a bit more time together getting to know each other.

Yes, I know we're busily involved on the Cardigan for Arwen (aside: which is one of the silliest names for a project that I can imagine) and every single stitch has been an incredible pleasure. You're soft. You're bendy. You hold stitch definition sooo nicely. YOu make my cables look scrumptuous. Is it your microfiber? Your little bitty touch of cashmere? What is it?

I find myself dreaming of all the projects we could make together. Socks.
Thermal . Mittens. What wouldnt be wonderful if you and I got together to do it?

I've heard the rumors, the rustlings, the can be a pill, you can prey upon weak areas like elbows and heels, you won't go the distance, but I'm holding my hands over my ears and humming loudly to block out all the naysayers. Because we have something special, you and I. Don't you think?

Looking forward to our next row,

love ya,


Friday, August 24, 2007

So Lucky!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm so lucky to be in the Lucky Lurker Sock Club. This pile of loverliness arrived in the mail today...a little bag to carry a sock in progress around in, a magnet, a tape measure (I.Love.Tape.Measures) and some extra yarn for heels and toes. And the best thing: a little card with kitchener instructions on it. Much better than trying to remember if you start "knit off purl on" or vice versa.

I've said great things about A Swell Yarn Shop and the beautiful duet yarns, and I now love them even more.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

fee, fie, FO, fum

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Guess what this entry is about?

I spent a lot of yesterday finishing two sweaters. Finishing as in seaming. Ugh. I hate finishing of sweaters. And finishing two in one day is double the not fun.

First up, Duffy, which is now blocked and drying out on the patio. This is from Rowan botany, and the pattern is in the 'best of Rowan' book. It turned out well. I like the collar.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And second is the best friend cardigan, from Twinkle's Big City knits. This turned out a bit snugger then I like it, so I added an additional cabled panel to add some room to it. It is still snug but wearable. It is made from Patons Bella and is heavy, heavy, heavy, so I'll be wearing this on those rare cold days here in Oregon.

So there you go!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Must. Finish. Sleeves.

still in the vortex
Originally uploaded by kbshee
During one of those middle-of-the-night-can't-sleep-obsess-about-stuff sessions that I seem to have on a regular basis, I had, HAD, to figure out a Knitting Schedule in order to Get Things Finished so I can move on to other things.

I think I was thinking about what projects I would take on vacation, and how I didn't want to take sleeves that only needed 8 inches of knitting to go yadayada, so I figured out the plan.

That is, to finish theses sleeves, and finish off the sweater belonging to the sleeves as well as the Best Friend Cardigan that has been hanging in the guest bath since I blocked it. So yesterday (a cool, rainy, wintery day in Oregon) I knit almost 5 inches on these, I'm now at the raglan decreases, and the End is in sight.

tyc #1
Originally uploaded by kbshee
So, on vacation I'll take this: the Tangled Yoke Cardigan of which the entire ribbing is complete (so we're at 250 stitches of st st for many more inches, followed by sleeves, then the fun begins). Should be good car knitting. I will also take yarn to start on "A Cardigan for Arwen" because I'm having a hankering to do some cables, and I'll take my House Socks and probably another ball of sock yarn.

And I guess there are yarn shops in case I run out, ha ha.

So once this was decided of course I could go back to sleep.

Now to figure out what books to take........

A quick Cody update: thanks for all of your inquiries and comments of support for our little guy. The second chemo treatment hasn't gone as smoothly as the first, which isn't surprising since it was a higher dose than the first treatment. Despite the drugs, he has had a bit of nausea (it tends to hit about 9 pm each night) and he's also had a bit of diarrhea. We hope these things start to abate this week, so he'll be in good shape for his trip to Canada with Junea (and us).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Not much to show you...

pigs 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee we had a busy day yesterday, putting up an extension to our privacy fence (to house the kayaks) and then spending some time at the Pig Races.

The what, you ask?

The All Alaskan Pig Races, which was a featured attraction at the Lane County Fair and really the only reason I wanted to go to the fair. Long time readers of my blog know that Tim and I usually enter a number of different crafts and food categories at the fair, but this year we didn't...I think we were busy with the dogs and with other stuff, and also they instituted an entry fee which sort of sat badly with me, blah blah blah, so we didn't enter anything (and it was pretty evident that entries in all the categories, including livestock, were down).

So my two big goals of going to the fair was 1 to get one of those mounds of curly fries where the cut a whole potato into fries and fry it whole...if this doesn't make sense to you then you've never been to a county fair and 2. to see the pig races.

pigs 2
Originally uploaded by kbshee
So. The pigs race on this track which is probably 40 or 50 feet around, so the race goes pretty quickly (as do the pigs). There are two heats of four, and the top two finishers go onto the finals. Tim wonders, though, whether they only have four pigs and they just switch out the numbers (see on the picture, #8 in the blue thing) and just run the same four pigs. Who knows. The pigs were so cute and ran so fast that it was almost impossible to get pictures. And they seemed to have a good time doing it (lots of pig chow at the start and at the end, lots of cheering and adoration).

Because the actual racing time for all three races is only about 2 minutes, the MC spent a lot of time making bad alaskan pig puns, getting the kids in the crowd to cheer, and generally being entertaining. He actually did a good job, and it seems like he really likes the pigs. But maybe that's me just hoping for Humane Treatment of Pigs.

To find out more:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bits and Pieces

clue 5
Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Here is the end of Clue 5, the first half or so of the 'wing' of the Mystery Shawl. Only about 98 or so rows left for me, the end is sort of near but not really.

2. Cody had his second chemo treatment yesterday and it went fine...dropped him off, picked him up, welcomed him home, and wondered which dog had the bad gas :-). He's doing fine today and sends his regards to all.

3. Stella's dosage of phenobarbital is miraculous. She hasn't had a seizure that we could tell for over two weeks, she's less nervous and jumpy, and still retains her essential Stella-ness. So it was a good decision!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
4. I'm in the sleeve vortex for my Duffy sweater. Here is visual proof.

5. We had a fun dinner out at a Eugene restaurant called "Savoy Truffle' with Steve and Jen last Wednesday..good food and a really terrific atmosphere, it was like having dinner at a friend's house. Please visit if you're a local.

6. I have about 2. 5 inches done on the ribbing of the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. Love the Rowan felted tweed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Didja Ever...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
..have one of those days when it seems like you frogged more than you knit?

That was Monday for me. I knit a bunch of rows on these socks, and then I made an error and had to frog the whole thing. I cast on for the 'Tangled Yoke Cardigan" from the new IK (which will be this year's clapotis, mark my words) and made a mistake and had to frog. It got to the point where I was afraid to knit more.

But I overcame, and finished the first of my House Socks yesterday. I just love these socks, and I have no idea why.

Rachel asked about the wet exist class, specifically whether we learned to roll. Well, no we didn't, Rachel. The kayaks we have are touring kayaks, used primarily for flatwater or ocean kayaking, and are very broad so they'll be more stable. As such, they're almost impossible to roll unless you have hips of iron. In fact, it was difficult for me to do a 'proper' wet exit in mine since I sort of fell out of the kayak as I was tipping over (as opposed to staying in it and hanging upside down in the water).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wet Exits

No knitting today, as we spent yesterday at Fall Creek Reservoir learning the fine art of wet exits. This is the idea that when you're in a kayak, you might flip, and if you flip, you need to know how to not freak out and then how to get back in the kayak, just in case you're, say, kayaking in shark infested waters or something like that. My kayak is very stable, so my flipping chances are slim to none, yet since we're taking the kayaks here in a few weeks Tim quite wisely thought we should know how to rescue ourselves, just in case.

The class, taught by Jessica and Mark at ORS , led seven us through a series of exercises to help us learn self rescue. First, we donned wet suits, booties, life vests, and a yellow helmet to be prepared (since we were tipping over in fairly shallow water, helmets were a safety precaution). Once we toted the kayaks down to the shore, we did the following:

1. Tip over in your kayak, exit, take kayak back to shore, get back in.
2. Put on a spray skirt, tip over in your kayak, exit, take kayak back to shore, get in.
3. Tip over in your kayak wearing your spray skirt, exit, get back in the kayak (which involves the inflating of a padde float to keep you balanced so you can wiggle up backwards on your kayak and get back in. HEre's an article that describes it:
kayak self rescue .
4. Tip over in your kayak wearing your spra skirt, exit, and get back into the kayak using the buddy system. Basically, this uses a buddy who did not flip over as a replacement for the paddle float. I was the 'buddy', not the 'flippee' on this one, but Tim promises that we'll be able to practice this again. Whoopee!

All this was done in about three hours, and by the time we broke for lunch I was physically exhausted and starting to get sore. After lunch we did paddling techniques. I felt OK but thought that my paddling was very sluggish. I was a bit pleased to return to the shore to find my back hatch was pretty much completely filled with water which significantly increased the weight on my kayak and made me less buoyant (sp?).

Today I ache all over, and have awful bruises on my elbow from some kayaking accident, but feel a bit more in control of things in the kayak. So all in all, a good day!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just in Case you were Wondering

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Winging It

wing 1
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I started the 'wing' part of MS3 (clue 5, I believe) and have completed 60 rows. So I'm still behind but not that far. I think my 'slip stitch' transition area is a bit too loose, but c'est la vie. That's what hot messes are for yes?
Anyway...the wing part is very fun to knit and easy to see when a mistake is made and even easier to get caught up..oh, the beauty of a double decrease!

go ravenclaw!
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And in other knitting news...I've turned the heel on my Ravenclaw House sock, which I really like. This yarn (knitpicks essentials) feels really good and is a pleasure to knit with. Navy yarn is not the easiest thing to work with but I still enjoy it. And I love how these socks look. I probalby need more 'plain' socks and these fit the bill.

And in even more knitting news...I've made it to another sleeve vortex on the sleeve of my Botany sweater (the one on the lil needles) so I'll be there for a while.

Tomorrow: wet rescue kayak class. Jealous? Oh no, don't be!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hard and Easy

ms3 c4
Originally uploaded by kbshee
The theme of today's blog post: things that are hard, and things that are easy. Much of the hard/easy dichotomy involves photographs. As you will see.

1. Hard=photographing the completion of the 4th clue (!!!) of the Mystery Stole. It is just getting too damn big.

I sort of put my nose to the grindstone and powered through the last 30 or so rows yesterday, and now am ready to start on Clue 5. Clue 6 comes out tomorrow. I am not as hopeless as I was, which makes me feel oddly good.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
2. Easy=photographing Juneau. She must have been a contestant on America's Next Top Model in a former life since she is always up for having her picture taken. She is showing a bit more of her true colors (a little bit of aggression around other dogs) but still eager to please and a very quick learner. And so beautiful.

3. Hard=pronouncing Juneau's name. Just in case you were wondering, it is pronounced like the Alaskan capital city. Or like enchanting. Or like Juno. Sorry for any confusion

.4. Hard=waiting for IK. I even emailed them. They said if I haven't received it by 8/17 (8/17!!!!) to let them know. @#*%&!. I'm a baby. I know.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
5. Hard=photographing the Great American Aran Afghan, which is now completely seamed and needs only (ONLY! she says ha ha ha) to be a. blocked; b. the border thingee to be knit and c. the knitted border thingee attached.

6. Hard=even imagining the GAAA finished.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the sleeves and now the whole thing is being blocked. I think it will end up a bit snug but it does s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

It's nice to do something fast, and even better, something I like. And it gets a bunch of stashed yarn out of the closet, which is one of my summer goals. It makes returning to my thin-yarn-on-small-needle projects a bit on the refreshing side! Who knew?

Other than that, I've been finishing up a couple of academic papers and doing a bit here and there on the MS3. I wasn't rushing forward because of the 'mysterious life line' and then I was dithering about whether I would do the 'wing' or not. But then I decided, and now I'm plowing ahead. I'm easily a week behind but so be it. It isn't a race (is it?). I the only one in the UNIVERSE that hasn't received the new IK?? I'm so frustrated...I'm itching, ITCHIGN to cast on for the tangled yoke cardigan!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Instant Gratification

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Look, the body of a sweater!

While I love the look of things knit on small needles with thin thin yarn, sometimes you need to just, um, knit something up. Thus this sweater, from Twinkle's Big City Knits. It's the Best Friend Sweater, knit with bulky yarn on size 15 needles. I had the yarn (tan for the body, brown for the ribbing) in the stash forever, so I'm thrilled to use it up.

Just for comparison, the back of my beige Rowan sweater required you to cast on 116 stitches. The entire sweater of the Best Friend Sweater required a cast on of 62 stitches. There you go.

I started the cuffs of the sleeves last night and should be able to knit up the sleeves fairly quickly, so this is just the project I needed as an antidote to littleyarnonlittleneedles activities happening in my bag right now.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I also had an overwhelming desire Friday night to cast on for my Ravenclaw House Socks from Alison's book "Charmed Knits". The yarn is Knitpicks Essentials and the stripe pattern is very nice, I like it a lot. I've really not done a lot of colorwork (and to call stripes colorwork tells you how little I've done) and this is a nice way to start. I really like how these look.

All is well animal wise, with Juneau being exuberant whenever we give her any litle bit of encouragement. Stella seems to be doing well with the meds, and Cody is just plain Cody, happy to be here.

Off for a quick kayak this afternoon.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Another tough decision

stella (left) and jessie (right)
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Cody is good, Juneau is good, and Tim and I are good, but our little cat, STella, isn't. She's had a seizure disorder for, what, two years now? We've been treating it with chinese herbs and it has gone OK...some weeks are good, others not so good.

But recently, unfortunately, the seizures have gotten worse. And in the last few weeks, we've had a couple of days where she's had two seizures within 24 hours, and once the seizures were about 3 hours apart. In the best of times, she's having a seizure every two or three days. So we knew we needed to make a tough decision to take her treatment to a different level.

The pharmacological treatment for seizures is phenobarbitol...the drug used to put animals down. It is, as you might imagine, a pretty dangerous drug, and generally requires constant monitoring of the cat's blood levels to make sure nothing is becoming too toxic. And Stella cannot, CAN NOT, go to the vet. She goes, literally, berserk. So we really didn't think phenob. was right for us.

Tim met with our vet, Priscilla, yesterday, and she agreed to try a very, very mild dose of phenob to see if we can break STella out of this seizure pattern, and then perhaps ween her off the drugs after a while. The dose will be so mild there is almost a lack of concern of toxicity, and if she starts to seem overly lethargic we can take her in and see what's what. So we started that treatment this morning. We're not happy with it, but at this point we don't know what else to do.

And in fact, she had a seizure this afternoon, but it was a slow motion seizure...much less violent than her seizures usually are. And shorter. And she recovered pretty quickly.

Poor little Stella. She had a tough start to life and it continues to be tough for her. While we're sorry we can't find a better treatment, we hope this will bring her a bit of relief.

In other news...yesterday was my three year blogiversary. Three years! Hard to believe. Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Solstice Slip Socks!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
While I'm suffering with a bad, bad case of startitis, I tried to quell the desire to cast on by finishing something.

Really, photos can't do justice to the beauty that is this yarn. Definitely one of my favorites by BMFA (and to tell you the truth, I was seriously considering not re-upping to the sock club, but they hooked me again with this yarn. We'll see what the next kit looks like).

And why the startitis? I think because my other projects are Big Projects on Little Needles (ms3, my rowan sweater knit on size 2 needles to name just a few). I'm sort of craving something that is more, um, instant gratification. So how excited was I when "Twinkle's Big City Knits" arrived yesterday and I found a sweater I could make with less than 500 yards of chunky yarn and I think I have that in my stash?

Very excited.

The only problem was, when I looked, is that while I have 500 yards it is not all in the same color. So i think the ribbing will be brown and the body will be camel. I think it will look cool, and I think it will knit up like a firebolt. Pics manana.

And yes, an entire post with no dog news...which is good, because we're all just stretched out in a big puppy mess of love.