Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Happy Clappy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim's sister Candace and our niece and nephew Jean and Stephen left yesterday after spending a few soggy days in Oregon. We had fun...good food, a little bowling, and knitting and chatting with Candace, who is really one of the best knitters I know.

I spent a lot of time working on my second Clapotis, modeled in this picture by Juneau's nose. This is such a fun yarn. I'm doing a narrower clappy so it will be more of a scarf than a shawl, and the colors just look so cool together. I'm probably halfway through it right now.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
My current 'mindless knitting' project is a sock using some yarn that came in the mail about a week ago. It is merino-tencel by the Yarn Pirate and the colorway is called Icicle. It is a perfect mix of colors for winter: white, blues and greys, and it is just so pretty I could hardly wait to cast on. This is just a basic, run of the mill sock, nothing special or fancy. The yarn is so soft and enjoyable to knit!

So, have you made any knitting resolutions for 2008? I'm afraid to go check my ones for this year, but let's take a deep breath and see what I wanted to do this year before I tell you mine for next year.

OK, so a year ago I wanted to:

1. knit from stash: hmm. I did OK on that one, but not great.
2. do some designing. hmm. That bug is gone, not sure what I was thinking.
3. do some charity knitting. Which I did. I knit several chemo caps for little kids and did a charity blanket with Jodie.

So this year:

1. Knit from stash.
2. Knit gloves.
3. Knit argyle socks.

Off we go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gifts Given and Received

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Happy Boxing Day! We are celebrating by cleaning the house and awaiting the arrival of family from Northern California for a few days.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas, which included a nice Winter's nap and much Eating of Leftovers, and of course opening of gifts, a few of which I'd like to share with you!

First, the 'mystery gift' for Tim...a Huggable Hedgehog. He had seen one as an avatar at Ravelry, and thought it was cute. I bought a kit from somewhere...maybe Paradise fibers? And it knit up quite a bit bigger than I thought it would. But it is Huggable. Tim likes it.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Our Christmas gift to the dogs is the opportunity to sleep in bed wtih us on Christmas eve. I use the word "opportunity' because it usually gets a bit crowded and warm for them (and needless to say, for us) and usually they opt out at some time during the night. This Christmas Eve, Juneau opted out right away (but loved the jumping from floor to cushion to right in between us). Cody slept with us all night, and as usual it was a bit warm and crowded but I'm happy he stayed with us all night. His Christmas gift to us was, of course, being here for Christmas.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I received some lovely gifts, including handmade jewelry (by my talented husband!) and here are some of the knitting gifts I received (I'll post his jewelry in another post). A skein of Curious Creek Sock yarn from our NoCal family (in Duck colors!). two sets of point protectors, and a cool set of african-themed buttons that I have just the yarn for (Rowan felted tweed, in treacle).

clappy #2
Originally uploaded by kbshee
And finally, my second clappy, made with the new Effekts yarn from Kaunia. The colors seem almost airbrushed on. I'm doing a narrower clappy so this will be more of a scarf than a shawl, and the color changes look really cool with the drop stitches. I really enjoy knitting clappy, and I"ve been ignoring my other projects (sorry other projects).
So there you have it. How was your Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Wishes!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
From everyone at our house to everyone at yours...Merriest of Merry Christmases!

We honestly didn't think our Cody dog would be sharing this Christmas with us, but he is a fighter, and he is enjoying his 11th Christmas with us. In his puppy years, he had to stay in the kitchen behind a baby gate because he became a bit overwhelmed at Christmas. Now he gets his Greenie and is happy as a Christmas clam all day. And the rumor this year is that Santa is bringing sliders for Cody and his sister Juneau.

So we have a lot to celebrate this Christmas: a warm house filled with love and sliders and Greenies and all other manner of Christmas treats. Enjoy the day!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

You know what this means!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the sleeves to my House Sweater.... it just me, or are you the type of knitter that when s/he gets sort of close to finishing something, s/he just obsessively knits on that one thing to get it done? Because that is what I did with these sleeves...

....and that means that (while I still need to assemble it), I can cast on for something else!

And that means small projects!! I have four small projects in mind:

-a mini-Clapotis with my Kauna yarn (cast on: check)
-socks with beautiful new Yarn Pirate Yarn (cast on: check)
-argyles (not yet, but chomping at the bit to cast on) and
-gloves! I've never knit gloves but I think it would be a great use for all my sock yarn that must begin to be used up. I'm going to use some of the STR in the Raven collection that is black-blue-blackish.

And yes, I have a sweater and another pair of socks on the needles but still. I finished sleeves!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Solstice!

Won't it be nice to have some sunnier days? Well, here in Western Oregon, I guess it is more truthful to say some days that are less dark than they are now.

Not much knitting to show, because I'm in a sleeve vortex and I've just been knitting stockinette sleeves for the past few days. I'm on the sleeve caps so the end is near. I have a bad case of startitis because the Effekts yarn just arrived, as did some beautiful yarn from the Yarn Pirate that is just calling out to be made into socks.

And I have a hankering to do a pair of argyle socks (why? why?). Luckily there is plenty in the stash for infinite numbers of pairs.

We went out to look at the Christmas lights last wasn't raining, and it was likely to be the only night before Christmas with no rain. We took the dogs, and Juneau was not happy. She hid on the floor of the car and was just miserable. She didn't perk up until we were back on our street. As I think about her time with us, I realize we had never taken her out to the car in the dark before...she had been in the car in the dark, but she started driving while it was still daylight. I think when her old family left her they must have taken her out in the dark and dropped her somewhere, and she might have been remembering this. She is extremely clingy today which is fine, and I wish she could understand how much we love her and how we'd never do that to her, o or to any other member of our family.

Give your dogs and cats and birds and bunnies and, oh, your iguanas and your chincillas hugs from all of our fur and feather babies on this Solstice day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh, just a bunch of stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Happy Birthday Erin Leann Hackstadt, who was born this morning to our great friends Steve and Jen! We can hardly wait to meet you!

2. I cast on for the Diamond Aran sweater, and included a picture of the Stepford Vogue Knitting model so you can see what it will look like someday.

3. Yes, it is pretty much the same color as my House Sweater. Oops.

4. I do love the yarn I'm using: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK.

5. Why is it that when I fall in love with a yarn, it is immediately discontinued?

6. We made our first batch of Christmas cookies last night. Ho Ho Ho!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Could anything be harder to photograph..

Originally uploaded by kbshee
..than a wimple?

Here is my Ice Queen (aka my Wine Queen) from Knitty, made with cashmere/silk yarn. It is a pretty simple feather and fan pattern in the round,with little beads sprinkled through here and there. If I wasn't still in pj's I'd take a picture of this 'in action' for you, but I am so I won't.

This was a very quick and fun knit, and given that I have a lot of kidsilk haze and beads in the stash I will knit this one again. I like to have a little something around my neck and this is just the thing. I think it would also make a lovely gift for someone, and it was fun and fast fast fast to knit (did I mention that?). Probably will skip the picot bind off as well as the provisional cast on, since I don't think that adds a lot to it and it was a pain in the butt. What is the stretchiest cast on you know? Is it the tubular cast on? I'll have to give that one a try.


Originally uploaded by kbshee
We had a bit of a holly jolly weekend. We finished decorating the tree, and we also got most of our cards ready for mailing. The big fun, though, was decorating a gingerbread house for our friends Steve and Jen. They are expecting their second bambina any day now (hopefully tomorrow) and we thought it would be a fun decoaration for them to have (and practical too! Gingerbread!). I picked up a decorating kit from Michael's and while our final effort looks nothing, NOTHING, like the Martha-Stewart-esque fantasies in the brochure that comes with the kit, we were pretty pleased with the outcome. When in doubt, stick more stuff on it! That's our Gingerbread House motto!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In Which I Finish some Stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yesterday I was determined to finish several outstanding projects. The fan bag, as you see here, was not that big of a deal to finish...I added the leather straps, and also put in a plastic canvas to keep the bottom shaped. And then I took this incredibly artistic (snort) picture of the bag in the mirror in the bathroom so you could see more than one side. It really is a cool looking bag. And did I mention it was fun to make? I'm almost afraid to start carrying it because if it, oh I don't know, falls apart of something I would be very sad. But I think I have to take this bag outside sooner or later.

This other project was a little longer in the UFO pile. I think I finished this sweater, the Cabernet Ribs sweater from IK, last winter some time. It looks in this picture like a basic black sweater, and that might make you wonder why I couldn't get off my butt and finish it.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The challenge is (or was) that the sleeves were knit in a laceweight mohair blend (I think you were probably supposed to use KSH, which I didn't) and there is also a vneck insert that is made of the same yarn. The body of the sweater is a basic black yarn held with the laceweight. So it was sort of a pain to sew up the sleeves, and also the vneck insert needed a bit of tightening up after the fact. So it wasn't really a daunting task, just one that wasn't much fun. But it is now done. And here it is.

So this has been sitting on my dresser for months, and now it is happily in a drawer. What this means is that I can cast on for the Diamond Aran as soon as I finish up Tim's present, which will be today or tomorrow!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It looks better in person

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Trust me.

This is 'ice queen', from Knitty. Instead of KSH as suggested in the pattern, I'm using Cashmere/Silk from Zen Yarn Garden . This yarn was the first yarn from the Sumptuous Sock Club. Anyway...there are also very pretty little beads here and there on this, and it is a fast knit (I cast on when, two days ago?). And fun to do. This yarn is really incredible to work with.

Today my theme is finishing. I need to put the handles on the Fan Bag (yes, they arrived yesterday, thanks Jimmy Beans), finish Tim's holiday surprise, and, um, sew the sleeves on a sweater I finished about a year ago. Yep. You read that right. I'm a slacker. It's the 'Cabernet Something" from IK. It has been sitting on my dresser for mumbmumblemumble and I need to finish it if for no other reason than to put it away and have it not live on the dresser anymore.

Plus I think I will cast on for the Diamond Aran (see list below) Because you can't have too many projects in the works, can you?.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Second-to-Last Picture of the Fan Bag!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I promise!

So, here it is in all its felted glory. It really did turn out beautifully, and I don't say that about a lot of things I do. I ordered a pair of handled from Jimmy Bean's, and I need to cut a circle of cardboard to keep the round shape at the bottom, but other than that the fork has been stuck in it.

Yesterday morning I wound some yarn (and Smooshy? Disaster) while I was trying to figure out what to make next (see list below). I axed the Celtic Tote for now, because while I love it, I, um, just made a tote. A trip to Michael's ended up with the purchase of some little beads, so I decided to jump into Ice Queen using the Cashmere/Silk yarn that is part of the Sumptuous Sock Yarn Club and really too beautiful to wear for socks. I was sort of surprised to see that there are only about 80 rows to be knit to do Ice Queen, and I did about 20 yesterday, so it should be a lickety split knit. And then on to the sweater.

If Ice Queen works out, it might be a good knit for Christmas gifts for next year, since Lord knows I have the yarn for it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


So I finished the fan bag last night, will felt today or tomorrow along with Secret Holiday Giftee.

Next? What next?

Here are my choices:

1. Diamond Aran sweater from Vogue American Collection (no picture, but very pretty)
2. Celtic tote from new IK: here
3. Jeanie from knitty here
4. Ice Queen from Knitty

I have the yarn I need for any of these projects. What to do? What to do?
And did I mention I have a bit of sock yarn saved up too?

Monday, December 10, 2007

House Sweater!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yes, I do knit things other than the felted fan bag.

Which, by the way, is almost done. I'm on the decrease rounds and it looks great. Can't wait to felt it. Now I'm searching for a good source for leather straps.

But I digress. The House Sweater, from Charmed Knits, is my 'mindless knitting' project that I work on when I'm reading or just too tired to make Little Fans. I finished the front last night and, through the magic of short rows, did a three-needle bind off to join the front to the back.

The pattern itself calls for binding off to do shoulder shaping, but that often makes for a sloppy (for me) shoulder seam so I decided to improvise some short rows and then do a three needle bind off. So far, so good!

Of course, now I move into the impossible land of the Sleeve Vortex, not my favorite place to be, ah well.

This weekend was an odd mix of holiday prep and other stuff. The other stuff being: planting bulbs and weeding the front garden. Very odd to be planting bulbs underneath the Christmas lights. We also picked up our tree from Gray's Garden Center and put it in the stand in the living room. Now the whole house smells wonderfully Yuletide-y. We also wrapped a lot of gifts for out of town family this weekend: I'd post details but don't want to give away secrets. And speaking of secrets, I finished work on Tim's holiday step left. I can't tell ya what it is but if you're on Ravelry go check it out:

And it is the one with 'Holiday' in the title.

This morning I organized all my sock patterns, and now they're living happily in alphabetical order in a notebook on my desk. I'm pretty impressed with myself right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I have no more ideas for cute fan titles

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I guess it is a good thing that I'm winding down on my fan bag!

I'm working on what is the final 'full' row of fans, after this row I'll start doing some decreases to make the pretty rounded bottom that this bag has. Then to felt it! I really do enjoy the knitting on this bag, so much that nothing has been knit on anything else.

I'm wearing my Tangled Yoke cardigan today for the first time, it took a couple blockings to get the sleeves long enough and to get the neckline right, but it is perfect (well, as perfect as a sweater that I make can be) now.

I have a few more grades to figure out; I'm waiting for one of my grad assistants to finish her block of grading and then I can finalize some student grades. I have two research projects to work on during break but no deadlines for either of them, so I'm pretty loosey goosey for the next few weeks. Hooray!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I realized I had never posted a picture of me wearing my finished Arwen, so here it is! My hair looks particularly good today too, so it is a good time to take a picture.

It is also a good time to show you this because there isnt a lot of other knitting getting done, due to busy-ness at school.

The sweater is held together by a beautiful closure that you can't see. But it was a gift to me from the artist. If you're looking for beautiful knitting gifts, visit Sheila and Michael Ernst's website here and check out the lovely things. The 'shawl closure' link will take you to the place on the site where you can see the beautiful closures that can be used for shawls or for sweaters like I'm wearing...these would be nice for a non-knitter on your list. And if you don't have one of their orifice hooks, or some of their glass needles, then put them on your list asap!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Fan Addict

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love making these little fans.

I've finished six rounds of fans...36 fans in total, and I still love working on this project. I love figuring out which color would look next to which other colors, and seeing how it all turns out once it is knit up. Three rounds left and then the decreases start, so still quite a bit of knitting on this bag.

I did a quick catalogue of my yarn yesterday to start to stash it all on Ravelry. I did all my sock club yarn and folks, I am all sock yarned up. Really. The decision not to rejoin several sock clubs was a good one.

Today the weather is cold and wet and windy and very, very gloomy, so I'm guessing I'll do a bit of reading and working on the House Sweater. And maybe organizing a bit more yarn.