Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cables and Corrugations


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished these socks, which I'm sure you remember fondly.

You don't?

You mean you don't remember when I started these in October? And then got distracted by many many other shiny things til these socks got lost in the bottom of the knitting bag, to the extent that one of the needles can out of the sock and I didn't even notice?

It's not that I don't like the pattern...I do...it's from the new (ok, not so new) Cat Bordhi book. The sock construction is really elegant. I think the problem was thus: the pattern lures you into thinking it is 'mindless' knitting and it isn't until you forget to cross a cable or do a row in purl that should have been in knit that you realize that the sock is quite flawed in its execution (lovely to look at, but flawed all the same).

The yarn..from Zen Yarn Garden...is lovely.

So anyway, that's the story of the socks. Onward!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Oh! And the amazing artist and all around cool person Sheila gifted me with the "You Make My Day" award! Thanks Sheila! I need to gift ten other bloggers who make my day (week/month/year); it will take me a while to winnow the list down to ten!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Let It Snow!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
We had a 'real' snowstorm here yesterday...we had probably 5-6" of snow over about a 6-7 hour period. We don't do snow here in the Pac Northwest, and much of life ground to a halt today (no schools, no busses, etc). I had a guest in town so Tim drove me in through the icy streets (we only live about 2 miles from school) and had a nice day. There was sort of a pioneer spirit among the hearty souls who traveled into work given the 'harsh' conditions.

Yesterday we took the dogs out during the height of the storm and let them play in the park next to our house. Cody was a happy happy guy.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
And Miss Juneau showed us that she is indeed part Northern dog....she is always a bit on the exuberant side but she was positively joyful running around in the snow yesterday. Note on this picture that both of her back legs are up in the air as she cavorted in the snow.

We did have to venture out last night in the slippery slideyness, and it was beautifully eerie to be the only car on I-5. The snow dusted the trees on the hills surrounding our little valley, and there was lots of reflected light from the snow.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the gloves, but couldn't bring myself to wear them in the snow. I know, I know, that's just SILLY, but oh well. The gloves are beautiful (the yarn is STR mediumweight in the Haida colorway, part of the Raven collection).

And I have more to show you. Here is a sneak peak: some finished socks, some new socks, and a new sweater (think Snow White).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stella Heart Yarn


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
It is hard to get a good picture of little Stella cat, so when I do get one that is a bit on the cute side, I can't resist posting it.

If you look closely, you can see her little nose, which is the most detail I'm able to get in a picture of a black cat. We won't use a flash on photos of Stella because of her seizure problems (i.e. the flash could set off a seizure). We also stopped playing with the laser pointer with her because of that. But I digress.

Stella is posing with the latest 'feeding frenzy' yarn: wollmeise. This skein is in the colorway "feuerwanze" and before you ask, no, I don't know how to pronounce it. Wollmeise is an indy dyer in Germany, and most of her colorways have german names. The colors are gorgeous, and the skeins are huge (520 yards). The challenge is that outside of one shop in the US, she only sells through her German website, and while it isn't outrageous to ship from Germany, still, you pay for shipping from Germany. But the shipping was very fast, and the yarn is gorgeous, and I'm now hooked on wollmeise.

Someone on Ravelry coined the term "feeding frenzy' yarn for those indy dyers that release limited amounts of yarn into the fiber craving world, and hence the yarn gets snapped up licketly split. I was waiting for a wollmeise sneak up at The Loopy Ewe (you have shopped there, haven't you?) and it happened at some point on a Monday evening and I totally missed it. Anyway. Hence der purchaseboughten ick der Vebsite Deutsch (and here it is, in case you haven't visited yet.

And that's not really German, you know. Oh, Der Vebsite is German, but that sentence that starts 'hence'...that's not German. My knowledge of German stops at 'das ist der fenster' which isn't a big conversation starter. But again. I digress.

Anyway. Update on my search for the Yarn that Most Resembles a Fire in our Fireplace. Guess what? The very cool Wool Girl, who has a real name (Jen) contacted me and she sent the picture of the fire to an indy dyer who is going to see if she can dye the wool for me. Too cool! The indy dyer's site is The Unique Sheep and she isn't sure she can get the blue right, but she's going to try.

I even have knitted stuff to show you: gloves, socks, more socks, that aran sweater, so come back!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

I hate weaving in ends. I just hate it. In fact, I have several pairs of socks that I just tuck the ends into the inside of the sock and merrily wear them because, well, I hate weaving in ends.

So yesterday, I'm wearing a pair of socks for the first time. I had recently given them a vinegar bath to set the dye, and I put them on and they felt great. Blah blah blah through the day, kept my shoes on for many hours, then came home and shed the shoes and found....

Toes! Toes stitcking out of the end of the sock because, since I didn't weave the ends in, the toe just sort of unravelled on me.

So I took an hour, unravelled the toe down about an inch and a half, and reknit the toe. And then wove in every single @#$^ end that I could find.

Thought you might like to know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happiness is...


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
...a thick pair of socks.

These are knit out of XXL Duet Yarn from Angela at A Swell Yarn Shop. She is very talented and I love her colorways....case in point, these are colors I would never pick out in real life but I love them all together on the socks.

And they knit up fast fast fast..44 stitches on size 3 needles. Gotta love that.

Anyway...are you all confused, time wise? These Monday holidays just totally mess up my head (which, admittedly, takes very little to mess up).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

B is for BRrrrrrr


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
And Brown.

I started this hat during the second half of the Jets-Packers game and finished it up last night during "The Tudors". As I mentioned earlier, I didn't want Tim to keep wearing his old, store-bought knit hat when he's working in the garage. I won three skeins of Noro Silk Garden and the colorways: browns, rusts, golds and a bit of teal green, seemed good for Tim. He likes it.

Side note: last night while wearing it, he said he felt that he looked like a Longshoreman. I told him I doubted Longshoremen wore items made out of Silk Garden.

Anyway: the pattern is from Ann Budd's Handy Book of patterns, the ribbing is a bit longer than normal since Tim likes to fold the brim around his ears for extra warmth, and it took almost, but not all, of two skeins of Silk Garden. I did this on two circs.

Now, "The Tudors"? We don't have Showtime (or HBO, or any premium channels) so we waited til this came out on DVD and it is a great series. Of course, it greatly highlights our ignorance of English history (and I started reading a biography of Elizabeth 1 that I have had forever last night, just to get more up to speed). Good acting, a little violent but not really, and the production values are fabulous.
Rent this one if you need a good series for these cold winter nights.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chilling Out


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
We're expecting some unusually cold weather here in the Pac NW, which has us hunkering down in ways that make the former Bostonian in me just shake her head. "Unusually cold" means that we're supposed to have lows in the teens, and on Monday and Tuesday it is expected that the high will not get above freezing.

Yes, I know this is not cold. When I lived in Boston, I would decide whether to run or not depending on whether it was above 15. Now with this forecast of cold weather we covered the spigots, blocked off the vents under the house, and discussed options for opening cabinets to keep pipes from freezing.

OK. We're wimps.

But on to better things. Yesterday I was enjoying our fire and started thinking how beautiful those colors would be in a sock yarn. I've done some looking and can't find anything that is primarily this blue color with shots of red-orange, yellow and gold. Let me know if you have any thoughts on what yarn might reflect these colors. I thought the colors would make beautiful socks.

And there is knitting happening here. I have fingers to do on my second glove, a toe to finish on a pair of socks that you haven't even seen yet, and I've been working on the cable sweater too. I also cast on for a 'wing it' summer top (ie I have some silly design in my head and will try to knit it) but the weather, of course, suggests that isn't the best option for knitting right now. I also won some Noro Silk Garden in a blog contest that I want to use for a hat for Tim. His studio is in the (unheated, un-anythinged) garage, and it is cold out there.

Hope you're staying warm!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let me just say:


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. I love audio books.
2. I like fair isle (although it scares me).
3. I just can't imagine how one can do an audio book on fair isle.Edited to add: yes, I know they've left out the patterns. But still.
4. To be fair, I should probably get the book and listen to it.
5. But I just can't imagine how one can do an audio book on fair isle.
6. Amie cracks me up.
7. I finished this vest.
8. I made up the pattern all by myself.
9. It is held together (now) with seaming pins.
10. It will have little hooks and eyes some time.
11. I took the picture in the guest bathroom, hence it looks sort of like a catalogue picture.
12. Thank you for reading.
13. Did you click on the link to the audio book? Did the music make you jump out of your chair?

14. Oops. That second question should have been number 14.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is It Me?

Or is "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: An AUDIO Book" just about verging on crazy?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Diamond Aran Update


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
You may have wondered about the Diamond Aran, and whether I've made any progress on this sweater

Alternatively, you may have a life.

Regardless, here is where I am with the Diamond Aran. The pattern is complex enough that I can't do it when I'm tired, yet simple enough to do during television that doesn't require a lot of attention (ie all television except for, perhaps, The Wire). So last weekend, during one and a half football games (sorry Peyton! Go Eli!) I got a good chunk done on the back. As you can see.

It is really very pretty, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Glove Love


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished my first glove! I think I love knitting gloves! Love gloves!

These were made with some yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Raven collection: it might be Tlingit but I'm not sure. Anyway...it's black with blue dye and really pretty...just a little more special than a plain black glove. It isn't perfect...the stitches are a bit loose around the base of the fingers and it is a bit snug overall (oops) and I could probably use a longer cuff but there will lots more gloves in my future so I'm sure I'll improve as time goes on.

And they were fast...I probably did this one glove in maybe 6 hours? I did it all on two circs...I did one of the fingers with three 4" long dpns but I found that it is much easier for me to use two circs than dpns. I think my biggest challenge is that I'm so used to circs that when I finish one needle I just drop the end of the circ that I'm using. But if yu do that with dpns, you end up, basically, dropping the dpn on the couch. Which tends to slow you (read: me) down considerably as you need to find the dpn and then try to remember NOT to drop it again.

Other than work on the glove, our day yesterday involved lots of football (yay Green Bay!) and hanging the new blinds we bought to replace the oh-so-cheap plastic blinds in two of our bedrooms.

My first class went well: good students, lots of interest, and a good discussion. Should be a good term!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Icicle Socks


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Look! Socks! Something I haven't finished a pair of in a long, long time.

This yarn was from the Yarn Pirate sock club, and it was a colorway called Icicle. It also has some tencel in it, and I've never knit with that blend, and it felt so silky, so I cast on pretty quickly after it came. I knit these up with the burned-into-my-brain sock pattern that is a basic cuff down flap heel pattern.

This yarn feels oh so good...almost like having silk socks on your feet. I like the neutralness of the colors...the blue isn't quite as 'neon' like in real life, and they just look like a beautiful, cold, clear winters day.

So today I cast on for gloves!! Gloves! I'm excited.I'm using STR in the mediumweight in one of the new Raven colorways..and while I only have the cuff done, I think I'm going to enjoy knitting gloves! Gloves!

My first class meeting is tomorrow...a graduate seminar on Web 2.0. Three hours! But it only meets ten times, so it should be interesting. I hope!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A is for Argyle


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm participating in the ABC Along, have you heard of it?

I found it at Carol's who directed me over to Vicki's for the details. It looks sort of fun.

To start, I am assembling yarn for argyle socks, since as you know that is part of my New Year's Knitting Resolutions. Here they are! These are for Tim. They should be macho enough for him (I hope!).

Not much else knitting wise to show. I'm winging it on a black knit vest for myself (sort of a menswear style vest). I'm almost done with the back and it is looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Juneau loves the clappy


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished my clappy yesterday, and spread it out in the hallway prior to soaking it in Eucalan to finish it off. It did soften up a bit, but not as much as I would have liked, of course it won't stop me from wearing it.

It is quite a happy little scarf, if I do say so myself.

I go back to school on Monday....this has been a great break with some good knitting accomplished. I can't complain, but of course next week I will.

One thing I can't complain about was Cody's checkup at the Vet Hospital in Corvallis on Thursday. Our wonderful oncologist, Dr. Helfand, did xrays and ultrasound and couldn't detect any changes in the sizes of Cody's cancer. Of course, neither of these tools are 100% reliable, but certainly if the cancer started aggressively growing they would be able to tell. So we're so happy about that. They want to do another checkup in April...April!!!...which means they think Cody will be around for his 12th birthday in March and beyond that. We're cautiously optimistic that Cody will spend much of 2008 with us!

The West Coast is being hit by some major storms, and we're lucky that we've just had a bunch of rain and a little wind. I hope all other West Coasters are hunkered down and safe and dry and warm!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Baby


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Presenting: the first finished object of 2008!

I actually finished the knitting on my house sweater (from Charmed Knits) before Christmas, but since I hate finishing I just left it until today. I hate finishing. Did I mention that? Seams: fine. Set in sleeves: disaster. It took me an hour per sleeve and they still sort of look crappy.

Anyway. This is an oversized sweater made with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I am not crazy about this yarn. It isn't what I consider silky, it is more 'raw silky' than 'cat fur silky' if you know what I mean. And it broke while I was seaming. A lot. Anyway, though, I got it on sale so the sweater was not expensive to make. It is a good knock-around-on-weekends sweater, or else it will be once it is dry.

Because I'm so disenchanted with the sweater that I actually washed it in the washing machine to block it (oh , OK, we have a front loader with a handwash cycle so it is really not that bad). So now it is drying, as you can see. It looks humongous, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Random New Year's Thoughts


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2008 bring all good things.

2. I finished the first 'front' of the diamond Aran sweater. Pretty cool, I must say. This is really 'concentration' knitting since it involves chart reading and counting, so I work on this mostly during football games.

3. And I finished it yesterday during the Sun Bowl where the Oregon Ducks bounced back from a disastrous end-of-the-season slump to beat the South Florida Bulls by a wide margin. Go Ducks!!

4. New Year's Eve was its usual crazy party around here. We watched the Audrey Hepburn movie "Funny Face". Man, Fred Astaire was a LOT older than Audrey Hepburn in that movie.

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Originally uploaded by kbshee


5. I realized I hadn't posted a picture of my 'homemade' gift. We have a tradition where we make each other a gift for Christmas. This tradition predates my knitting days, so there were some lame Christmases early on. They're better now. Anyway, Tim made me three beautiful shawl pins (ceramic) and three pairs of black and white earrings (as well as a pair of pearl drop earrings). I really like them all, and were talking about whether he should move into 'production' for the shawl pins.

6. I was loopy last night after one glass of champagne. Just sayin'.

7. Today is the official end of Christmas at our house: the decorations are put away, and we're about to start dismantling the tree. Happy/sad.

8. Enjoy today! Enjoy every day this year!!