Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Project


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009!

I started a New Year project..like I need an excuse to start a new project, but whatever. I haven't even thought about blocking and finishing the Debbie Bliss cable vent jacket, but maybe this weekend? Anyway, I started on another Debbie bliss pattern, the Silver Bells peplum that is a free giveaway at the Vogue.com website...it was part of their Silver Anniversary pattern offerings. Anyway, I like the design...it is a cardigan and you knit a sleeve and the front and backs in one piece, repeat for the other side, and then attach the peplum. Confused? Check it out here...top row, the last one on the right.

I'm making this out of Ultra Alpaca which has been in the stash forever, this yarn feels great and is lovely to work with, and shows up the cables even though it is fairly dark. So thumbs up on that!

We're having a quiet and peaceful NYE...Tim is making peanut sauce curry and then we'll find movies or something to watch. It is always a struggle to stay up til Midnight but we'll give it the old school try!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Relaaaaaaaxed


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim and I are really enjoying the Christmas break this year...even though we're not looking forward to classes starting next week, we're making every day of the break a good one!

Saturday, as I mentioned, we put in new closet rods and now the black hole that is our closet is much more organized and my New Year's resolution is to keep my shoes straightened.

Sunday...what did we do? I think I read Harry Potter. We did the crosswords. We watched the Broncos lose to the Chargers. And I made a somewhat healthy 7 layer dip (two kinds of beans, cheddar cheese, guacamole made with green salsa, pica de gallo, and black olives). And I finished this sock...in a custom made colorway by The Unique Sheep in Verve sock yarn called Blue Fire.

Today we did Framing. Tim gave me a beautiful drawing of a photo of Cody and I from when we first moved here...one of his students is an artist and his commissioned her to create the drawing for us. We took it to a local frame store and are having it matted and framed. Then we went to Michael's and bought some low end frames for some other pieces we've purchased on our travels. Now to hang them all!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Cats with Bows


More Cats with Bows
Originally uploaded by kbshee
You've met Stella...our poor little brain damaged orphaned kitty that doesn't make the blog that often because it is just too dang hard to take pictures of black cats! And we won't use the flash with her because she has seizures and we're afraid the flash could set it off.

But this picture, of her napping on one of Tim's computers, is great...it shows her little face, as well as her lovely Christmas bow.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas...gifts in the morning, munchies with Steve, Jen and the bambinos, and then home for the playing of games, the eating of leftovers and the telephoning with relatives. My poor brother in Flagstaff apparently spent most of Christmas shoveling some of the many inches of snow they have on the ground there.

I finished the second sleeve for the Cable jacket...but it looks nothing like the first sleeve. i can't figure out what exactly I did wrong, but I ended up un-binding-off the first sleeve and frogging some of it and then reknitting, but it still doesn't match. Please pray to the Blocking Goddess that all will be well in the end.

Today we're installing new shelves in our closet...hopefully we'll just about double our storage space. And the 'we' is pretty literal...Tim is doing most of the work while I hang on the bed and knit, surf, and occasionally pass things to him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Greetings!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
From everyone at our house to everyone at your house, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and a Joyful New Year!

We have the greatest gift of all: that our Cody dog is spending the holiday with us. He has been through a lot in the past four months and we did not expect he would still be here. But he is feeling good, eating well, and ready for his two Christmas treats (sleeping in our bed with us, and a Greenie on Christmas morning). That's the best present in the world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Bow: Day 5


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Jessie isn't a fan of her Christmas bow.

It is pretty much clawed to shreds and any resemblance to a bow is there only because I've retied it about 25 times.

Nough said.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The "It" Scarf


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've basically just been working on this scarf for the past few days...and I haven't had as much time as I thought I would to work on it, just because we're busy doing Christmas-y stuff and just enjoying the season. We got the first season of "The Man from Uncle" on DVD from Netflix...it first aired in 1964 and honestly, I don't think we were allowed to watch it. We weren't really a spy-tv watching family. Anyway...it is very fun, in that 60s risque way that is so cute to see. Anyway, I digress. On to the scarf!

I did declare the scarf finished last night, so here it is!

Basically, I had balls of kauni, and the scarf pattern is knit two rows in one color, two rows in the second (k2 p2 and end with a k2). I started the scarf with two 'adjacent' colors...yellow on one ball and green on the other...and so came up with a pretty cool looking rainbow scarf (from afar). I'll probably do another starting with the two yarns at opposite ends of the spectrum...like start with blue and orange...just to see what that might look like.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is a close up of the scarf (twisted around itself) and my foot. You can see the stripes a bit better in this picture...it looks pretty cool close up too, of I do say so myself.

This is a pattern that has been making the rounds online, and the original was knit with Noro something or other that also results in beautiful color changes. I'm partial to the clear true colors of Kauni myself.

Some day I may even try one of those fancy Kauni sweaters...although they do involve steeking, which of course is the one knitting thing I'm scared of. Maybe I'll make that my 2009 knitting resolution: to steek!

I'm debating between three sweaters for my next project: a cable aran sweater from Paton's "Street Smart" book, a Debbie Bliss sweater that was featured in the VK Anniversary issue, and a cable pullover from Elsebeth Lavold's "Viking Patterns for Knitting". I have yarn for each of them, so it is just a matter of finding the one that gets me going first. The Debbie Bliss keeps floating to the top. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Solstice! Solstice! I love summer solstice because the days start to be shorter, and winter solstice because the days start to be longer. Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy living on the equator to get 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark per day. That would suit me fine.

The wintery weather has chosen to avoid Eugene; we've just had rain for the past few days, when only 100 miles north of here Portland is apparently snowed in. That's fine wtih me. I love snow when I don't own a car, and when the grocery store is two blocks away (as it was when I lived in both Boston and Chicago). Our traditional Oregon snow is on the ground first thing in the a.m. and gone by 10 a.m. This hanging around is just not for me.

We have been making sure that we are getting Christmas-y around here: out for festive holiday coffees yesterday (eggnog latte for Tim, peppermint mocha for me), putting up lights, and making cookies. A good winter weekend.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Bows


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
One of our holiday traditions is to give all the animals Christmas bows. This tradition is met with mixed reactions from the recipients: the dogs tend to ignore their bows, Stella doesn't even realize it is there, and Jessie has a strong dislike for hers. Just look at the expression on her face! Within ten minutes of putting her bow on, she had already clawed it up and was not happy when I re-tied it.

I used to use that paper ribbon for bows on the cats but Jessie can get easily addicted to those ribbons and chews them whenever she finds them. Our dear departed cat Jasmine used to do that too..in some ways, Jessie is sort of the reincarnation of Jasmine. Of course I could always skip the bows, but that would make me sad. And it just wouldn't be Christmas.

Still not a lot of knitting activity going on here: yesterday I had a conference call with a group of Green Moms who wanted to learn about the Greenwashing Index...man, those Moms knew their stuff. And then I spent much of the afternoon at the Eye doctor's. My eye doctor (Foley Vision Center in Eugene) is terrific, I always learn a lot from her, and an appointment there is always like a little spa visit. I also ordered funky (purple!) new glasses...stay tuned for those!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Erin!!

Our friends Steve and Jen's baby daughter Erin is a year old today! Happy Birthday Erin! This year has gone by so fast...it seems like yesterday I was driving Jen home from the hospital from Evan's birth!

Many many more little Erin!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pictures!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
We've had snow, ice and cold cold cold temps, so you would think that I'd have a bunch of knitting to show you. Alas, not so much. Tim and I are both on break, and time feels very very elastic. Plus the weather...it sort of sucks up time when it takes 2 hours to run 45 minutes worth of errands, when you factor in puppy romping time, etc. So anyway, I do have some knitting to show you and am getting geared up to tackle a new project (if I can only decide what said project would be...probably a cable sweater).

These are the DIC smooshy socks in visual purple and can I tell you, if you mixed Wollmeise's colors with the DIC smooshy base I would buy that yarn and only that yarn for the rest of my natural life. Seriously. This yarn is great...I've said it before, if you haven't tried it yet take some of that gelt that Santa brings you and get you some. It's great.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've also been working on this scarf...the IT scarf of the 2008-09 winter season. You've probably seen in knit up in Noro something or other...it is a simple rib scarf where two different yarns alternate every two rows. The magic comes when you pick yarns with interesting color changes. I didn't use Noro, instead I used Kauni that was in my stash (I love kauni, I really do) and so far it looks like this. It is fun to knit just to watch it change colors before your eyes.

Unfortunately, I have some problematic Kauni, where knots were used to create the balls and the joins are not in the proper colors. In one ball that I used for my clapotis last year, one color was just skipped. In this ball, it goes from yellow to green to blue to purple and then back to blue (it is supposed to go to red). I can tell this by peering in the ball. I'd send it back (I did send an email to the yarn shop when I found the first know last year, and they said "oh well". So I won't buy Kauni from them again. In general I like the store but not in this case. Little KNits sells it. Buy it from them!). Anyway, I think it will all work out OK since I think the scarf will be done at the purple, but really. That's just obnoxious.

Today: more gazing out the windows at the weather, writing of cards, finishing of gifts, and who knows what else?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow!

After much anticipation (it will start Friday night, no it will start Saturday afternoon, no it will start Sunday evening) the snow finally started after we went to bed on Sunday night. I would guess we've had about four inches, and the temps are on the chilly side so it will stick around for a bit. We took the dogs for a good snow romp and Juneau (part Norwegian Elkhound) had a terrific time (Cody too, though he prefers the ocean).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

At the risk of providing way too much excitement....


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
...I give you a sleeve.

This is the sleeve to my cable vent cardigan. Not much to say about a stockinette sleeve except I went a bit overboard on the length. The pattern calls for an 18" sleeve before you get to the cap. I'm tall, and my arms are a bit longer than average, and when I held the sleeve up to my arm I decided I needed an extra inch. WEll, unfortunately I got caught up in a new DVD series (tTrial and Retribution, sort of a cross between Prime Suspect and Law and Order), and ended up adding about 3 inches to the sleeve.

This on a sweater where I'm pretty close to not having enough yarn. My amazing SIL has been helping me search for it, but nothing yet. I have some yarn in a different dye lot that I think I can use for the collar and not have it look horrid.

Anyway, I finished all my grading at 9 am this morning. I need to finish up Tim's 'handmade' gift (we always give each other something hand made), and I really want to do the newest 'must knit' scarf...the stripey ones where to different skeins of Noro are used, only I want to use some of my Kauni that is in the stash.

So what I'm saying is, enjoy the sleeve, I may not get around to #2 for a bit.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Randomness

It is that time of the year...no, not the holidays, end of the term! As such, a bunch of random thoughts and questions.

1. Why are doug firs so much cheaper than other types of Christmas trees? We got a 6 foot tall doug fir for $15.

2. Cody ate four truffles (the chocolate kind) that were given to me by a lovely doctoral student as a thank you for being on her committee. The truffles were in my possession about 15 minutes before Cody found them. I made a quick emergency call to the vet; luckily, 2.2 ounces won't hurt him.

3. Unless you call really, really interesting bowel movements not hurtful.

4. For some reason, I've been thinking about Christmas 2010, and thinking about making house slippers for family members that I swear I will never make gifts for, out of Cascade 220 superwash. Figured I could whip these up quickly.

5. This from the person who was going to make i-cord bracelets for some family members this Christmas, and bagged that because it would be too complex.

6. It may SNOW this weekend! I know that many places around the world do not look forward to snow, but I think it just isn't a holiday season unless there is snow.

7. And yes, I get teary at the end of White Christmas when they open the barn door!Do you?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Purple? Did someone say purple?


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
It has been a bit of a crazy week, so I have very little knitting to show. But what I do have is good!

This is another purple sock (no, you can't have too many) that I made out of Dream in Color Smooshy. If you haven't tried this sock yarn yet, I recommend that you do. As promised, it is smooshy, and it has a great hand.

"Great hand" is one of those Knitterati terms I've never quite 'gotten', but I can get it in reference to this yarn. It just feels darn good. Fun to knit wtih too (and I almost never say that).

I made up the pattern...it is a basic sock with the middle 10 stitches on the front being this pattern: It makes a nice little ribbed cable insert that adds some shape to the sock. I did these toe up, but you could also do them top down. I think my total stitches is 52 on this sock using this yarn, but ymmv.

Purple!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cable Vent Jacket


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Slowly but surely, I've been working on the Cable Vent Jacket from the Debbie Bliss magazine in Rialto. The back took so long (with all the aforementioned cable vents) that the fronts seem to have gone really fast...there is one cable on each side of the front as opposed to six cables going up the middle.

So now all that is left is the sleeves, which are stockinette, which hopefully will go lickety split...unless I get stuck in the sleeve vortex, which of course might happen.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Somoko Socks


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Somoko is one of those sock yarns that gets a lot of raves and can be impossible to find. It is made by the Fleece Artist people in Canada, and is a mix of merino, kid, nylon and silk.

And I call it Sokomo because it makes more sense (socks, SOKomo, see?)

Anyway, this yarn was a special colorway dyed for The Loopy Ewe in honor of (I think( their anniversary. I like The Loopy Ewe. The service is wonderful, the selection is great, and they have a nice frequent buyer program (I just earned a free skein of yarn...Dream In Color Sparkly, or some such, more on that later. It has flecks of silver in it).

Anyway...not that crazy about this yarn during the knitting up process, but the new sock owner (aka Tim) loves the final product...he says they feel terrific, so that's a good thing. The colorway is a nice masculine colorway, but bright enough to make it worthwhile during the knitting up. I won't race out to buy some more, but I wouldn't turn it down if it came a knockin' at my door.

We went out to visit Brownie yesterday at Silk Creek Alpacas. She's growing quite a bit, and is now flirting with the fellas. Another dark brown (aka bay black) alpaca has joined the herd, and it is fun to see imagine how Brownie might 'look' some day! Julie mentioned showing Brownie in the spring once the shows start, so I'm going to do a bit of research into that. At a minimum, I'll go in on a booth with Bil and Julia at the Eugene alpaca show in June, which I'm very excited about! Bil and Julia also gave me a beautiful gift of some alpaca roving...8 oz of brown and 8 oz of white that I can dye...very excited about that too. Must. Get. Spinning.

The lovely day yesterday was complimented by an AWESOME win by the UO Ducks over their arch rivals, the Oregon State Beavers, in a nail-biter game where the Ducks had a comfortable lead most of the time but it was a nail biter anyway.

One last day of peace before the last week of classes (aargh) and finals week (yeee) and then grading and then a little break!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Perfect Beach Day!

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

We had a quiet and mellow Thanksgiving...we watched the Philadelphia Dog Show (a tradition at our house!) and then Tim cooked a gourmet Chinese dinner. I helped a bit, mostly washing dishes and blanching peppers. Naps were taken by most of our family. A good day.

Today we roused ourselves early (no, not 4am at Kohl's early) and headed off to Florence. The weather was predicted to be OK, and we wanted to let Cody have another day on the beach while he was still feeling well, Plus, Tim took his birthday kite, since there's usually quite a bit of wind.


We left cloudy Eugene at about 9:30, headed west, and when we arrived in Florence at about 11 it was partly sunny, with no wind, and the temperature about 60...perfect winter conditions for the beach. The waves were very churny, so we walked on the beach and threw the float for Cody for a bit, then headed over to a calmer inlet for a bit more fetching. Juneau romped around and got her feet wet a few times...Cody had a terrific day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Halloween...er...Thanksgiving!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yesterday when I got home from a really, really bad day at work, a little surprise was waiting for me!

I won the Woolgirl Halloween contest! I love Woolgirl...I belong to Jen's sock club, and I've bought a lot from her store and I loyally follow her blog. So i was very excited to win the Halloween contest! I won candy, pez, stickers, Halloween Kleenex, "Frankenstein" starring Robert De Niro and Kenneth Branagh, and best of all, my choice of any sock yarn from the store!

I selected Dream in Color Smooshy in Visual Purple. And even better, i just finished a pair of socks for Tim yesterday so I'll wind this up today and start on a new pair of socks with this yarn!

Jen is also having a big sale at Woolgirl starting Friday. i shouldn't, but I'll be there!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cody says hello

He's feeling good, and asked me to show you all how good!

Stegasaurus


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Christmas knitting. Hmm. Always a conundrum. And the conundrum is that the people who I would like to knit for tend to not want knitted gifts. At one point my brother actually said "and don't knit me anything." Yes, he should not be eligible for gifting at all. But you know what? Better say it out loud (and live with the consequences) than not even thank me for it.

But whatever. I saw these dinosaur toys advertised in a catalogue and thought they were too cute not to make. This is the first one, a stegasaurus (and knowing me, the last one too) knit with Plymouht Boku. It still needs some ends woven in but it turned out kind of cute looking. So it is destined to be part of a gift for a lucky little elf!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quick post

Nothing of note to show you...nothing much to say. I was sort of ill on Wednesday, rallied on Thursday to celebrate Tim's birthday !!!! and then had a pretty horrid day on Friday, so I was so ready for the weekend. Yesterday we went to the Holiday market, did some Christmas shopping, and then today we're just hanging.

Photos soon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's not that I feel bad...


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
..it's just that I don't feel good.

Yesterday at school I felt a wave of not-goodness....sort of when you got hot and tired and cold and scratchy all at once? I managed to persevere through the rest of the day and my big class, and then pretty much crashed last night. I slept OK last night, but today I just feel sort of blah. Like my eyes hurt. And it feels better to lay (lie?) down that to sit up.

Thank goodness for laptops!

So I'm just going to take it easy today (and given that its 11 am, I'm doing a pretty good job). I finished my final exam for the big class so that is all set, so at least I accomplished something today.

I've finished four repeats of the hanami shawl, three more basketweaves to go and then the other part! Yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sock


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished this sock for Tim last night (and yes, a second sock is in the works).

It's made with Fleece Artist Sokomo, one of those yarns that got rave reviews but that I'm pretty apathetic about. It has some cashmere but it doesn't feel that great. Tim tried it on and likes how it feels, though, so that's the important thing.

The color is Loopified, the special color that was created for the anniversary of the online yarn shop The Loopy Ewe. It's great for loves of red and black and white, which we are at our house!


Please forgive the unoriginal post titles. That time of the year!

Monday, November 17, 2008

quiz time!

I took this quiz I found at Rosy's blog:




ColorQuiz.comKim took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Longs for tenderness and for a sensitivity of feel..."


Click here to read the rest of the results.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Socks


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished this pair of socks with ArtYarns super merino. I read online that this yarn feels like cotton but wears like wool, and that really is true...they feel very smooshy and sort of thick but not really...hard to explain, but I really do like this yarn. I wish I was more in love with the colors, but honestly, I need no more yarn. For a long time. So I'm on an official yarn diet (although everything is so tempting!)

Like the Woolgirl Lace Club . I don't even like lace, but Jen at Wooolgirl has the best clubs. Seriously. So if you like lace, and you have some cash (ok, a lot of cash) to spare, go check out her lace club. And I'll just drool from afar.

It has been a pretty mellow weekend here so far, with some lace knitting (oops, I guess I do knit lace!) and some other knitting falderol, pics to come.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Purple Peplum


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Yes, it is an odd photo.

Anyway, I finished the back of the purple peplum and instead of binding off I transferred it to a spare needle and I'll do a 3-needle bind off when the time is right. It's almost 28 inches long, by far the longest sweater I've ever knit, and so the sleeves should seem like a breeze! I like how it looks, and the pattern is well written, and Debbie Bliss Rialto DK is lovely.

I had some fears that I wouldn't have enough yarn...and of course it is discontinued...but I found one skein on Ravelry and them my amazing SIL Candace found four skeins in the correct dyelot through the yarn shop she works at ( Yarndogs, for those of you in the San Jose area) . So I feel more confident that I will have enough to finish this.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
After several weeks of rain we're promised a sunny weekend; Tim and I are going to try to get the kayaks out for a quick paddle this afternoon. This means for this weekend: yardwork, Ducks, and some good walks with the dogs. Cody is feeling great! His appetite and energy are back, he's a happy guy (as you can see) and he seems like his old self. We're thrilled, and we're hoping these last few weeks (months?) continue to be happy for our little guy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Props to the P.O.

I've written before about how terrific our mailman is, and today I had to make the trek to the main PO to pick up a package (Wollmeise! In Veilchen! My own personal holy grail!) and I have to tell you, those PO people are awesome.

There was a pretty big line when I got there, and from what I could hear there were some really dumb people who apparently had never been in a post office in their life. The people working at the counter were kind, patient, accomodating, and never seemed exasperated or frustrated. Honestly, I would have pulled out the stamps on the top of the drawer, not given someone a notebook so they could browse and discuss stamp choices while there were 12 people in line.

Example question: Postal Patron to PO Lady: "We have trouble mailing to Do you have trouble mailing there?" Hello? Pay your postage and move on. PO Lady doesn't need to discuss troublesome mailing areas with you, and she's going to say good things anyway. Move on!
Example comment: "Gimme a couple sheets of stamps." Hello? Is she supposed to read your mind? Tell her how many, moron.

Anyway, when it was my turn I thanked my PO Lady profusely and told her how I admired all of their patience and kindness. She said to me, smiling, "see this smile? It is frozen here until 12/25." And then she told me "don't bother coming here the day after a holiday or a Sunday. The crazies come out. Wait til the next day."

Gotta love the PO People!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Three-pete


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I've completed three repeats of the lace pattern for the Hanami shawl. and yes, it doesn't look that much different than when I completed two repeats. But I do feel that this is a project that will, indeed, be finished one day. Not sure when! But at least it is moving along. And on Saturday, when I was working on it, I only had one time over about 20 rows when I ended up with an extra stitch. So I think I have a better handle on the whole lace thing.

It is fun to knit, I have to say. THe pattern sort of gets you into a rhythm, which I've never felt before with lace. I think it is a very graphic and linear pattern which is why this is happening. Anyway, all good.

I've done a bit more knitting on the cable peplum...still working on the back, but at least I'm at the armholes now. And I finished my ultramerino socks, and cast on for a mindless pair for Tim. More details on that soon.

Cody is done with his meds, and his appetite is coming back a little bit. He still enjoys his burger-and-eggs omelets, but for now he's eating a little bit of kibble along with them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What a Week!!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I didn't seem to get a lot of knitting done this week....Tuesday night I was too nervous to knit, and then Tuesday LATE night I was really too excited and emotional to sleep. So Wednesday I was pretty wiped out, and now am just catching up with sleep and so with that feeling of normalcy.

I've been knitting on these socks, and I haven't showed them to you for a few reasons. First, they're just plain old socks, nothing interesting. And second, I'm not that crazy about the colors. But my friends (oop, too much McCain rhetoric this week), this yarn is absolutely wonderful. It is ArtFibers Ultramerino sock yarn, and feels absolutely incredible and is just lovely to work with. More!

Cody is doing OK...for those of you on hump watch (Rachel!) he did a few little humps on Wednesday and Thursday nights. He hasn't had an appetite, but we discovered he likes scrambled eggs, so he's been getting eggs and burger and kibble omelets this week. As you might imagine, his coat is gorgeous right now. Anyway...he seems to be ALMOST back to being the pre-surgery Cody, and so we're pretty happy about that.

School is at that point where everything a student says sets me off and I can hardly wait for the end. Four more weeks. Argh!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy

It is 7:30 in Oregon. In half an hour, I think the world will experience an amazing change.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why I Love Rainy Weekends with Lots of Football!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Hey lookie! I've finally made enough progress on the Hanami shawl to show you! This is the pattern after two repeats (ie 62 rows)' I did an additional fifteen or so rows after I took the picture so it is really starting to look like something!

Oh sure, it has my fair share of 'design elements' (how did that extra stitch get there?) but so far so good. There are 16 stitches inthe pattern, so I finally realized that if I broke it down into hunks of 4 stitches at a time there is actually some rhyme and reason to the pattern.

Anyway, lots of football, sad sad football this weekend, as the Ducks lost on Saturday and the Broncos lost on Sunday (but such good knitting time!). By the Colts game last night we were both pretty over football (and lace knitting, well, actually knitting in general for the weekend).

Cody is doing better...he still doens't have his whole appetite back but he is very alert and happy, really no more sad eyes from our little guy.

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US. Vote!! We have mail in voting in Oregon (love) and so our votes have been safely in the ballot box for a week. Nothing left but the waiting (and worrying!).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Spooky Scary!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
For the past several Halloweens, the spookiest thing about our house has been that our front yard has looked like the site of a nuclear bomb. A few years ago, we were so overrun with morning glories (a pretty flower in some places, a noxious weed in Oregon) that we covered the 'lawn' (and we use that term very loosely) with black fabric and mulch, and just let it die out to try to kill all the weeds off. Two summers ago we put in the center garden in the middle of the lawn, and then this summer Tim did two great projects: front 'deck' and the arbor.

For the front deck, he took out our front steps and put in three larger steps that make a much more open entrance to the house. Our front door has been referred to a 'bat cave' so opening it up makes it just a little nicer.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
And a bonus, that we didn't realize until this week, is that it makes a much nicer display for the pumpkins. We went out to the pumpkin farm a few weeks ago and brought back some big pumpkins. Often we find ourselves too busy (or lazy) to carve them, but on Wednesday night we dug in and did the jack-o-lantern thing. Each one took two or three tea lights because they were pretty big. They made quite the show out in the front! We went through a lot of candles last night because Steve and Jen brought E squared by for Trick or Treats. Evan was dressed as a ghost (so cute) and Erin had a Candy Corn bedecked outfit. So they came by around 5, and then we had a few other groups til about 7:15.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Of course I overbought in the candy area, so i gave the FedEx guy a handful of candy this morning.

We also put in an arbor at one end of the yarn and bought a glider to put under it. Yesterday afternoon, about half an hour before the kids were due to come over, we hung a ghost up in the arbor. It was not very scary in the day light and pretty much impossible to see at niht, but we did give it a shot.

And yes, it looks like we need to rake some leaves.

How was YOUR Halloween?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That Face!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is a picture of Cody, back from the vet yesterday. He has a bit of an upset tummy today (won't go into details why, because it is gross) and/or I'm being scammed because he'll only eat hamburger from my hand (although he did eat cookies from Tim).

He's showing some signs of Cody-ness...barking a lot, jumping up at the mention of a walk, and eagerness at the opening of the refrigerator door. When he starts humping the dog bed, we'll know he's in good shape.

Keep your fingers crossed for that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Purple Peplum


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been working on the peplum sweater from the Debbie Bliss magazine...it will take me forever, but whatever. This is the back...every tenth row or so there is a decrease between the cables and so by the time you get to the waist (or so) the cable are all close together. Anyway, it should look better than it sounds.

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. The pattern called for 14 balls, i bought 14 balls (on sale, this yarn is crazy expensive) and I think i've used three so far. I'm quite worried I won't have enough, even though I'm decreasing like crazy. I tried to order a few balls from Webs (where I bought it the first time) but they're out of it. So, keep your fingers crossed that all will work out.

Cody goes to our local vet to have his wounds checked...he's not 100% yet but he chases squirrels yesterday and that made my heart happy. I took him to school with me since we didn't feel comfortable leaving him alone for 9 hours (Tim had a consulting job yesterday). It was nice to spend the day with him but in reality he wasn't comfortable...I could tell he just wanted to go home and nap!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congrats to Two Susans and a Heidy

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the survey! I did a random number drawing and awarded three skeins of yarn to Susan, Susan and Heidy. All the winners were incredibly gracious.

I've finished up the study...basically, for those who are interested, there were four different web sites for the made=up drug Lopertome, and each of the websites presented the risk information in a different way. I wanted to see if risk presentation affected comprehension (as well as some other things). the answer was yes: for one site in particular, the respondents had more 'wrong' answers to questions about drug benefits and risks than respondents to other sites. Good times!

I knitted four LACE rows today so you can see how my day was.

And Cody is holding his own.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Stockinette Week


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I think I can categorize my life into stockinette days, cable days and lace days.

Lace days...days when I feel rested, feel calm, feel peaceful, with time for self reflection and contemplation. When I can knit lace without wanting to slit my wrists.

Cable days: hectic times with small periods of calm where I can concentrate on something for at least a little white.

Stockinette Days: days when I can barely stay awake, when I don't have even time to cook a decent meal, when a half hour of time not eaten up by some other demands is a luxury.

So it has been a stockinette week. And not in a very good way, although I feel that we're sort of back on some type of even keel right now. And the upcoming week for me looks like I might even have a lace day in there...there are empty spaces on the calendar to catch up and to even do some planning ahead.

At least the result of the stockinette week is a finished pair of socks in Red Hot Chili Pepper from Wollmeise. I love the striping and I love the pooling i the middle. And of course the socks feel wonderful. The ends need weaving in but I'm just as happy tucking in ends these days.

Cody is well...not 100% but seems pretty calm and not in pain. We're lookig forward to a few good weeks with him. Thanks for all the positive thoughts you sent his way...they made all the difference.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome home Cody!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Cody is back home...we are so happy to have him here and while we're sorry that the treatments we planned didn't work out, we're glad he is feeling good. We should have a little bit of good time left with him, and we plan to enjoy every minute!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Request for Good Thoughts

If you read this, could you please send out some good thoughts into the universe for Cody? He is in the hospital in Corvallis with some serious complications from the catheter. More details as we have them.

Quick update: yesterday's surgery (his third in three weeks!) seemed to have gone fine...catheter is removed, antibiotics are adminstered, and we're hopeful he'll come home later today. Keep the positive energy going out to him!

friday evening update: he is on his way home!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ketchup


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I know I always say that the past week was crazy, but this one really kind of was. I had two evening events two nights in a row...both on top of full days of teaching and meetings, and I end up feeling like one of those plate spinners the moment before things come crashing down. Good times! I'm also sort of struggling with some other things at school, mostly having to do with a lack of recognition of my work but other people constantly being recognized for things like Breathing and Showing Up On Time. Academia is a pretty silly place. There are lots of great things about it..but other things are just ridiculous. That's what I have to keep in mind.

One of my evening things was very interesting...I gave a brief talk about Web 2.0 right after Ward Cunningham, who is the inventor of the wiki. Not wikipedia, something called the Wiki Wiki Web. Anyway...pretty amazing. He was quite a character and it was fun to chat with him...we ended the evening with a discussion of "Cult of the Amateur" and all in all it was an interesting night.

Some knitting has been happening.Saxon Sox: done! This is truly one of my favorite sock patterns of all time. And I love the yarn, and the color. All in all, I have to say that these might be my favorite socks ever! Ever!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
!
And my mindless sock is this pair in Red Hot Chili Pepper, from the amazing Wollmeise. These are very bright and happy. And Wollmeise's skeins are 510 yards, at least twice as much as I need, so i can get two pairs out of one skein OR .... wait for it.... I could save up the leftovers for a Charlotte's Web shawl! That's the plan right now. Likely to change.

Very little has been done on the lace stole. I also started a sweater from the new Debbie Bliss magazine...the peplum cardigan...but I've done about two inches of that and so there's not much to see.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stella

Stella doesn't get a lot of air time on the blog, but I did a little video of her. You can sort of tell she isn't the sweetest cat on the block, but we love her!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanks and a little Cody milestone

Thanks to all my blog readers who agreed to take part in my strange academic survey. See the post below..there is still time if you want to join the fun (she said sarcastically). Anyway, thanks!

Today is a bit of a milestone for Cody....he is off all his meds! Since his first surgery, he was on: two meds for a possible bleeding ulcer, two pain meds, a diarrhea med, a vomiting med, and an antibiotic. Plus his regular thyroid med. But this morning he had his last antibiotic, and he's finished all the courses of his meds. He's feeling good, and his body seems to have made peace with the fact that there is a catheter in it. Tim noticed yesterday that there's hair growing in on the skin covering the catheter, which is a good sign. And the wound where his catheter WAS is healing up really well.

That's probably more info than you need to know but it feels great to have him healthy (ish) again!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Want some yarn?


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Originally uploaded by kbshee

I’m starting an academic research project that has nothing to do with knitting…however, I’m offering Wollmeise, Yarntini and Zen Yarn Garden yarn as prizes for participants.

I’m doing a study that looks at information presentation at websites. If you chose to participate, I’d have you visit a website for anew product, look through the website, and then click on a link that take you to a survey site where you will take a survey that asks about your opinion of the website and that asks you some questions about the product featured on the website. The whole process should take about twenty minutes.

If you’d like to participate, either leave a comment here, or send me an email at kbshee AT Comcast DOT net . I’ll then send you a link to the test site. You will not be asked to provide your name or email address at either the test site or at the survey site. The only record will be your message to me.

Thanks!

Two weeks from now, I’ll draw three names of everyone who asked to participate and will award three prizes of y arn. The first name pulled gets their choice of any of the three, the second their choice of the remaining two, and the third gets whatever is left. The three yarns are:

Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Wilder Mohn. 510 yards of beautiful reds.
Zen Yarn Garden Squooshy Yarn. 80% merino 20% nylon, in the Phenomena colorway
Yarntini Merino Sport in the Hope Variegated Colorway.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your help!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunshine + Purple = Gorgeous


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I took my purple socks outside to take their pictures in the sun...as I noted earlier, taking pictures in the house results in the purple turning blue, and that's just not right. So anyway...the first is a pair I just finished (except for, obviously, the weaving in) in the purple sock yarn that was part of the Wool Girl Sock Club. Toe up, basic sock, love them. Beautiful colors of violet and light purple.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I took my Saxony socks outside too, and this gives you a better idea of how purpley they are. Rosy asked if they were ecclesiastical purple and yes, I think they are. This is really the purple I think of when I think of purple...it is Amethyst by CTH, and is the purple of our butterfly bush outside. A really grapey purple. I love it.

I feel a bit more like myself...got some sleep, went out to see our Brownie yesterday with our friends Steve and Patty, and then hung out a bit for the rest of the day and conked out at 9:30 last night. Brownie is doing good..growing a bit, she's probably two inches bigger than two weeks ago, and gaining apparently a pound a day!!! I took some movies that I'll try to post soon.

Please check the blog tomorrow for a request for help...I'm starting an academic research project and need some folks to review a test website and comment on it. Yarn prizes await!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tired


Worrying, not sleeping, back to school, yay!

Not much knitting going on, Cody seems a bit perkier, and it is the weekend so hopefully I'll feel more myself soon.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quick Cody Update

Thanks to everyone who has asked about our little guy.
The good news is that he is feeling good after his surgery and we've passed through the side effects of chemo without a whole lot of trauma.

The bad news is that the catheter that the vets input is causing some problems...I won't go into details but basically the skin did not heal over the catheter as it was supposed to. So Cody is back in Corvallis today for some additional surgery to correct that problem.

Hopefully we'll get back on an even keel with him soon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Photo Frustration


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love these Saxony socks...a beautiful cable down the front and moss stitch on the back of the leg...but I'm frustrated that you can't see how Purple they are!

I guess that's the problem with taking pictures inside. The flash gives you the color that's closest to the color but it washes out the cables. No flash gives you the cable but the sock looks blue rather than the wonderful purple it is!

I'll go outside and take some pics there...it is finally sunny after a gloomy weekend (hello, winter!) and maybe that will work.

But I like these socks. From A Fine Fleece...and I keep the cable pattern going all the way down the foot (I didn't do moss stitch on the sole, though, just stockinette). It seemed to almost knit itself.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, in Amethyst. Possibly the best purple sock yarn in the Universe.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Crazy Week=Over


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
The first week of school tends to be a little crazy, but this week has been crazier than ever. Tim is now teaching at LCC, so we had to work out both of our morning routines and transportation to various academic institutions. And then we had to work in all of Cody's medications, and a vet trip for a blood draw, then another vet trip to drop off a urine sample. And Tim took the GREs yesterday ( and did terrific on them!). And then this morning we met my BIL and nephew from San Jose for Breakfast at 8am.

I think I now understand the expression 'the thin edge of the wedge'.

But hopefully things will get back to whatever normal is in our lives. I've done minimal knitting, although I'm zooming forward on this mindless sock (I'm halfway done with Sock #2). Cody is feeling much better. Hopefully the Ducks will beat USC today (ha HA) but one can only dream. My classes seem good, with the big class being very energetic so I have high hopes for the fall term.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Saxony Socks


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is project #3 from the wonderful book A fine Fleece...the Saxony Socks. I'm changing these up a bit by having the saxony braid go all the way down the foot, just to keep knitting the sock interesting.

First week of classes this week, so Tim and I are working to get in to some type of routine (Tim teaches mornings at LCC). So we're a bit off-kilter right now.

The good news is that Cody has bounced back from his surgery and is just about back to normal! Go Cody!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I rate a bunch of magazines


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
For some reason, I've acquired several new issues of some knitting magazines in the past two weeks. I thought I'd give a little review of each of them in case you're considering buying a few.

Creative Knitting November 2008:
Why I bought it: It was at my grocery store and I like to send the message that they should stock more knitting magazines.
Quick recap: a bunch of simple sweaters, some Christmas projects, and some ideas for Christmas gifts.
Will I knit anything out of it? there's a pattern called "My Favorite Cardigan" which is a worsted weight sweater with sme cables on it. It is cute but I"m not chomping at the big to knit it.
My .02: nothing in here you haven't seen before.

Verena Fall 2008
Why I bought it: I loved the fist issue so I subscribed.
Quick recap: Lots of things in brown yarn, some fair isle and cables, and some kids stuff.
Will I knit anything out of it? Yes. I love the Brit Knits section. If I could get away with wearing a knit plaid kilt, I'd knit that in a heartbeat.
My .02: I didn't like this issue as much as the first, but it is gorwing on me.

Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter
Why I bought it: I'm not a huge DB fan, but the mag is from VK and her patterns are generally really nice.
Quick Recap:gorgeous pattern after gorgeous pattern. I don't knit 'for the home' but some lovely things there too.
Will I knit Anything out of it? Yes. I ordered some DB Rialto on sale from Webs to knit #20, a cable vent jacket with a peplum. Gorgeous.
My .02: if you like classics, take a peek.

Interweave Felt: Special Issue
Why I bought it: I think I was kinda bored.
Quick Recap: felted toys, scarves, bags, garments and rugs. Some nicely done articles about some felting artists.
Will I knit anything out of it: Yes. There's something for someone for Christmas in one of the pages!
My .02: if you are interested in felting, why not? Nothing outstanding or would make me say 'let's FELT NOW' but still a few interesting techniques.

Knitsimple Fall 208
Why I bought it: See Interweave Felt
Quick recap: like it says...simple shapes i sweaters, blankets, socks, hats and mittens. I do like how they use embellishment to perk up simple things. Good articles and great book reviews.
Will I knit anything from it: Yes. Some cute hats and mittens.
My .02: if you're a beginner, this is a very accessible magazine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lovely Day at Silk Creek Alpaca Farm!

I had a great time on Saturday at the Open Farm at Silk Creek Alpacas, where Brownie lives. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera...but my colleague and next-office-door neighbor Kelli came with some family and friends and took some pictures. It was very cool to see the entire alpaca process: all the alpacas, of course, and then Bil and Julia had bags of shorn fleece out, I had rovings and batts, and then I spun some into yarn. I also tried to teach spinning on a drop spindle, which was a disaster. People seemed pretty enchanted by watching the wheel, though.
It was a beautiful day...foggy to begin with, but warm and sunny, and the alpacas seemed happy to have some company. So many people came: people from the J school, friends of mine (Evan was very brave, he fed the alpacas!) and neighbors that Bil and Julia haven't met. I rarely find such a great sense of family as I did yesterday.
Speaking of family: our little Cody dog had surgery on Friday...he had a catheter inserted to make delivery of his next round of chemo a bit more effective. The surgery was very, very rough on him, and he's still feeling pretty out of it. So hold a good thought that our little guy gets back on his feet (literally) soon.


And one more thing...Brownie the Alpaca has a blog! Bil helps, I think. Check it out here .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Wollmeise!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love me the wollmeise yarn! One of the highlights of the summer was getting into the Wollmeise yarn club...and I also promised myself that I would start KNITTING with the yarn as opposed to just admiring it from afar. Each skein is a work of art.

These are socks for Tim, in the colorway Raku-Regenborn or something like that. The yarn was the first skein of Wollmeise that I got my hands on. The yarn comes in a HUGE skein...almost 600 yards...which means that there is plenty left after a pair of socks for, say, saving up to do a Wollmeise Charlotte's web.

It's National Alpaca Farm Day this Saturday at Silk Creek Alpacas and I'll be there mid-day (10-2) to spin alpaca and to show anyone interested how to spin on a drop spindle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quality Control


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
It is very important to have a good quality control person. Mine, as you can see, is Juneau, who is giving my purple Fylingdales a good once-over since I completed the first sleeve.

This is the first time I've picked up sleeves and knit down. I love this technique. As longtime blog readers know, I hate seaming. So this is terrific! I know you can also pick up and knit set in sleeves,but I'm not sure how...short rows? If you know of a website with good tips, or even a real book, let me know!

It is fall here in Oregon (well, technically I guess it is fall everywhere) but definitely cooler and cloudier. Which is fine, I love our NW winters!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Flippy Flopping in Florence

We left a drizzly Eugene this morning at 10:30 and drove the dogs over to Florence. We wanted to give Cody a day at the beach before he starts chemo again, and we picked a great day. The sun was shining, it was warm with no breeze, and Cody had the rare opportunity to swim with seals! Well, not exactly....the seals were hanging out in the bay area where Cody was fetching, but he never got close to them.

He is so cute with his flippy floppy ears. He's even cute from the rear. Here is evidence:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Things I've learned this week


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. When you knit a tank top, and you are knitting it for someone (me) who needs it to be 40" around, and the length from top to bottom is 20", the whole tank top will look like a square. And subsequently, when you put it on, it will look like you have a square on your top half.

2. Wearing a square on your top half is not pretty.

As a result, I will be knitting the KSH sweater from the new Mason Dixon knitting book, sometime in the future.

3. Cody's cancer has returned, and we'll be trying another round of chemo with him. He feels and looks great.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
4. I'm much into purple these days, as you might have noticed. The tank is a deep purple.

5. It looks like the blogosphere wants me to knit Hanami, so I will! I found this merino lace yarn in...you guessed it..a purple color in the stash so I'll use that. I also have beads for the cast on. I think it is a good choice, so thank you for your help.

6. I think that's all!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Help!

I need a football game knitting project.

I like watching Duck Football. I like hanging out with Tim when he's watching the NFL. And I need a pretty complicated pattern to work on during these times, because while I like the idea of hanging out and watching football, I have FADD (football attention deficit disorder) and I tend to lose interest very fast.

So what should I knit during games? Help me here. My choices are:

1. The Jeanie shawl from Knitty. I have DIC in the stash to make this.
2. Seascape from Knitty. I have Curious Creek Silk/merino in the stash for this.
3. The Hanami Stole I don't have anything necessarily set aside for this, but I do have two skeins of Am Kater Polar from Wollmeise which might be gorgeous for this.
4. Complex Cabled Socks, such as a pattern by Cookie A. or a pair from A Fine Fleece. Regardless of the pattern, have plenty of yarn to make, and these would be either pink or purple.

So help me out by picking your favorite!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Faceted Ribs


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finally finished these socks..the faceted rib socks..on vacation. The yarn is Vesper Sock Yarn and the pattern is from the Little Box of Socks. It is a great pattern for a striped yarn, because it gives just enough variation to make it interesting.

The colors are bright and fun, I'm not that crazy about the base yarn for these socks but the colors do make up for it.

I also had to search to find my spindle today, because i'm going to help out at the Open Farm day at Silk Creek in two weeks...I offered to bring spindle and wheel and spin some stuff for a few hours during the Open Farm. The drop spindle made no sense to me but now it does....after spinning on a wheel for a while...and I still find it hard to believe that anyone has the patience to spin an entire sweater on a drop spindle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Purple is the New Black


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been working for a few weeks on the Fylingdales Gansey from One Fine Fleece...it is turning out to be both a fast and fun knit. I bought the year..Classic Elite Tweedy Something...from someone on Ravelry and when it arrived I was sort of astonished how bright it was. Bright, bright purple, with flecks of red, yellow and green in it. Over the summer, I pretty much decided that at least, for me, purple is the New black and I've been amassing a sub-stash of purple yarns.



(As a matter of fact, I'm working on a shell and shrug in purple Kid Silk Haze, which I think is the ultimate purple color. I also bought some great purple yarn in the colorway 'amethyst' from Cherry Tree Hill, to make cable socks in One Fine Fleece. Anyway, I digress.)


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is a closeup of the sweater (and this color looks sort of demin-ish, which believe me it is not. It is purple purple purple). The sweater is knit in the round, and the bottom half is plain stockinette. Then, there are some garter rounds (a 'welt' pattern) and then the upper half is the cable and seed stitch pattern. It looks really good, and this yarn shows the cables well.

About half of the cable pattern is knit in the round, and the second half is knit back-and-forth as you divide for the armholes. I've finished the back and I'm now working on the front. I can tell where it switched from in-the-round to back and forth but I don't think it is all that noticeable!

A fun knit, a fast knit, and I can't wait to wear it! The sleeves are picked up and knitted down, which I've never done before but I'm looking forward to that. And since this yarn felts, I've done spit splicing throughout...no ends to weave in!

It might be the perfect sweater!