Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stormy Weather

We don't get thunderstorms in the Willamette Valley, as a rule. Maybe one per summer. Last night was an exception, as three or four storms rolled through from about 10pm-2am. it was v. hot yesterday, so that might be one explanation.

And we learned that Juneau doesn't like thunderstorms. She was pacing and panting and just could not settle down during the first few storms. After about an hour of unhappiness, she came over to my side of the bed and put her paws up, asking if she could join us, just for a bit. In the interest of getting some sleep, we agreed. She jumped up and settled down right between us, so Tim and I spent much of the rest of the night trying not to fall out of bed, and working to get a wee bit of sheet away from Juneau.

When the sun came up, she moved down to the foot of the bed and we all slept a bit easier.

Tim taught Cody at an early age to not be afraid of thunderstorms, and Cody now takes them in stride. However, he doesn't like fireworks and has specific places he hunkers down when he hears them. Hopefully he'll teach Juneau how to deal with this. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What to do when it is 90 degrees outside

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Why, knit a wool sweater, of course!

I needed a mindless knit-while-reading pattern, and so found a cardigan pattern in one of the Yarn Girls books that seemed to fit the bill. The yarn I bought at a destash at is Artful Yarns Vaudeville, a wool tape yarn that has a nice bit of stretchiness in it. Yes, it looks purple in the picture but it is actually purple, light blue and gold, which gives it a nice texture.

I've been a destashing Queen lately. My goal for the summer is to try to make all yarn purchases with my paypal balance. Thus, I need a paypal balance. Yesterday morning I blew a bunch of the balance with an order of Wollmeise, and so this morning went through the stash once more to see what I could live wtihout. I posted a bunch on Ravelry this morning, and a lot of it flew out the door within an hour of posting. So I feel quite Trump like, if I must say.

Oh and this yarn? I forgot to tell you. Someone was destashing on Ravelry for....ready....$1 a ball. Seriously. I couldn't say no, could you?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fraternal Twins

Originally uploaded by kbshee
First of all, let me say that I love being on summer break. Last summer I taught summer session, and then Cody was sick, so the summer sort of zipped on past. The summer before....I can't really even recall that. So having this block of time to just THINK (and read and knit) is such a blessing. I've felt a huge surge of energy and a lot of contentment, which is a nice combination.

I finished these socks in the Noro Sock Yarn...yes they went fast! I guess I could have made them as a matched pair but that didn't seem to be in the cards. I like how they look though...they are certainly matched enough for me.

I spent much of this morning digging into the yarn/guest room, and did a good job of getting a lot of stuff thrown out and a lot of yarn organized. I'm pretty pleased with myself. I've also written two pieces for my professional project, the site which is an advertising and marketing site for small business.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've got several academic projects to work on this summer: two papers that have been in limbo for a while and will be done, and a new project on storytelling that I've got some grant money for (yay!). I also need to take a breather and reflect on where I'm going with the academic career. Even though I love the time off, the time on can be very frustrating and non-fulfilling. Hopefully having some space will help me straighten my muddled head out.

And finally...look what I won! During BSG weekend, the local alpaca ranches sponsor an alpaca show. We always visit it since I love the alpaca (and am formulating an evil plan to get my own...more on that later). There is generally a raffle, which I generally enter, and generally lose. Well, not this year! I won 875 yards of Suri Alpaca laceweight and a pattern. The laceweight is, not surprisingly, incredibly soft, and is plenty for a lovely scarf or maybe even a shawl...maybe with beads? Love me the beads.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sometimes I surprise myself

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Leah commented that I really like blue. Whenever I look at my stash, I get a little amazed that I have such a limited color pallette: so much blue! A little red! A little purple and pink! But mostly blue!

If you would look in my closet, though, you'd see a sea of black bottoms, a bunch of black tops, some white shirts, and here and there some color in a hand knit. However, my sweater stash yarn is blue, grey, off white, black, and maybe tan to perk it all up.

So I was surprised when my former student Kati stopped by with this beautiful bouquet of flowers and I thought "those colors look great together! They would make a good yarn."

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And then I remembered this yarn that had just arrived. This is Dashing Dachs and part of the Woolgirl sock yarn club. The yarn itself is great and the sock yarn package was filled with delights. When I saw the yarn my first reaction was 'ooh, I like that" and then the SENSIBLE Kim said "but those aren't 'my colors'."

But maybe, somewhere inside me, they are.

What are your colors?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

BSG Part 2

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Continuing with my wooly adventures at the BSG....

But first: we've been watching the John Adams miniseries that was on HBO and now is on DVD from Netflix (and obviously from other places). Two comments. First, where was I when they taught all about the American Revolution? This is all news to me. And I used to live in Boston and walked the Freedom Trail every day to work for several years. Honestly, I think poor John A. got sloppy seconds after Paul Revere. Second, I keep waiting for Abigail Adams to spin. Where does that family get all those great clothes? Spin, Abby, Spin!

But I digress.

First up is yarn that is not in the blue family! This is 450 yards of a beautiful pink mohair laceweight yarn. I think this will end up being a smoke ring or a mobeius cowl or something like that. the color is such a clear, true pink that I was just drawn to it. The price was right too...less than $15 for 450 yards.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And my last two purchases are from A Verb for Keeping Warm. I was excited to see this vendor in person and I have to say, I was a wee bit disappointed to begin. The yarn itself is a bit pricey (much of what she uses has silk in it) and the colors, being organic, are not as saturated as I tend to learn to these days. But the hand on this yarn is really is so soft and will feel great to knit up. This colorway is called Indigo Sky andyes, it looks much like the cobalt I bought from Chameleon Colorworks. But I want to make textured socks and so this will be good for those.

I know, I say that every year...I want to make more textured socks. But I also need a mindless book-reading knitting project, and socks do such a good job for that category. I also have a mindless sweater on the using bulky yarn from Artful hopefully I'll be able to focus more on textured socks soon.

But again, I digress

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And finally....I lied yesterday when I said that I didn't get any roving. I got some roving. This was also dyed by A Verb for Keeping Warm and is blue and white...perfect for spinning a very spin sock yarn and then navajo plying.

So all in all, a good trip to BSG. Tim and I may drop by to see the animals and make sure there isn't anything left that I wish to purchase, but honestly I think I'm good. The overwhelming amounts of sock yarn was just not inspiring to me and my too big sock yarn stash (I think its time to start making more gloves!).

Friday, June 20, 2008

BSG pt. 1

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I bopped over to the Black Sheep Gathering this morning to do a little bit of shopping. For those of you who haven't heard of it, BSG is one of the larger West Coast fiber festivals, attracting folks who raise sheep and goats as well as those who process the wool. Lots of independent people, a few shops thrown in, and all told a lot of lovely stuff. There's also a lot of sheepies to ooh and ah over, as well as an adjacent alpaca show.

In the past, I've come home arms laden with goodies. Today, though, just one string bag full. I didn't buy roving, though I was tempted. I have plenty to spin and just couldn't rationalize that purchase.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Additionally, most of the yarn there was sock yarn, and while I love me the sock yarn, I have plenty (and now as you'll see, I have plenty plus). I probably have variegated yarn in every color combination you can imagine, and while I saw some I liked a lot (Fly Designs, specifically) I just couldn't see buying some more yarn just because I liked the colors a lot.

What is WITH me?

Anyway, first up: two yarns from Chameleon Colorworks. The top one is a bamboo blend in the Cobalt colorway, and the bottom on is Twinkle Toes (50/50 merino tencel) in the Glacial Moraine colorway. This second skein is the yarn that is featured in the new book The Eclectic Soul for the Rivendell sock, which I'm going to make. It was the only skein that she had, so I snatched it up. I'm very excited about that!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
In the past I've blown almost my whole budget with a stop at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth, but since I have a lot of this yarn in my stash, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't need to stock up this year. I had read on Ravelry, though, that the BMFA ladies bring down some mill ends to sell, and these often sell out pretty quickly in the show. How had I missed this opportunity in the past? I checked out their booth pretty much as soon as I arrived, and saw the magic Mill End stand. Score! Unfortunately, though, most of the yarn was really really bright (neon seemed to be a theme at the BSG this year). After doing some pawing through the racks, though, I did find two skeins that I bought (mill end price=$14 for mediumweight. Yep, that is a score).>SPOILER ALERT!!


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The first skein I bought is dark blues, lights blues, and very light blues...very me, and very lovely. The second skein, for Leah, is a purple mediumweight that is very, very, very subtley variegated (and maybe it wasn't s'posed to be, hence it is a mill end). It is a bit more purply than it is showing up on my screen...I think I would call it a deep lavender, if such a thing is possible.

So that's part one. A few more goodies to show youtomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just a bunch of random stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Sleep. Sleep is such a good thing. Cody is feeling much better and we've been able to get two good nights' sleep in a row. Yesterday wasn't enough to catch up, but this morning I felt like a brand new person. I apologize to any blog readers that I have left, because my blog posts have been pretty dull and brief. Now that I have some sleep, though, I should be back to my more entertaining self (imho).

2. Cody is a champ. He is bouncing back to his pre-sick days and though he lost about 10% of his weight, he is getting his energy back and I'm sure we can get those pounds back on him fast. He has what sound like miracle drug dissolves into a gel that coats any lesions on his intestines. The drugs are definitely working.

3. Do you like the sock? It is Noro sock yarn in one of the new colors that came out in the last few weeks. I'm usually not too big on Noro colors, but this, this I like. The second sock won't match by any stretch of the imagination, but that's OK too. The yarn feels pretty Noro-like...not quite consistent and a bit on the stiff side, but it still feels good. And so far none of those pesky Noro knots, nor none of that pesky Noro VM that occasionally appears.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
4. Tuesday (yesterday) was our anniversary...lucky 13! It was especially lucky because, of course, Cody was feeling better (hey, didya hear? Cody's feeling better.) Anyway, part of my gift was this gorgeous silk/wool lace yarn from Curious Creek fibers. The other part was the book Victorian Lace Today. I think I'm going to use the yarn to make Seascape from the new Knitty. It should be gorgeous! Thanks sweetie (and thanks to my SIL Candace, who works at a yarn shop in NoCal, where Tim was this past weekend for nephew Stephen's graduation.)

5. Tim's gift from me was a step ladder that turns into a hand truck. Aren't I the romantic? We saw this on the Celebrity Apprentice last winter and I knew I had to get Tim is perfect for toting his booth to craft fairs and setting it up. He is going to be at Eugene's Art and the Vineyard from July 4-6 at Alton Baker Park. We're hoping it is a very, very successful show for him. If you're in Eugene...or if you're visiting Eugene that weekend, stop by the booth and say hi!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
6. I did a swap on Ravelry and my swappee, Leah, not only sent the yarn for the swap but also some handspun Sock Hop! And...she designs patterns and sent me one! Pretty awesome. I'm going to get her a little surprise at the Black Sheep Gathering this weekend because she is not getting her fair share in the swap.

7. And. Black Sheep Gathering is this weekend. I don't need anything...on my list, though, is to check out yarn from A Verb for Keeping Yarn, Mother McKenzie Miracle Dyes, and a woolee winder (just looking!). I'm excited but not too. Which is good.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Any spare good thoughts?

If you have a few, please send them out to Cody. Tim took him up to Corvallis for an 'early' examination (he goes up every 3 months to track how the cancer is progressing). Cody felt pretty up and down all weekend, and the Vet Hospital is squeezing him in today to try to figure out just what is going on with the little guy (he can eat, but it all comes out the other end pretty quickly).

Thanks again.

Update: he's doing better. Apparently, the weekend illness was unrelated to the pancreatitis, and neither seem to be related to the caner. He's got a mess of drugs to take, and he's started eating again, and we all slept through the night last night for the first time in a week. Hopefully he is on the mend (again!)>

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer of String Bags pt. 2

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I whipped up this little string bag over the weekend...pretty much my own design. The yarn is a hemp/cotton blend that I bought at the Saturday Market last year...not a great yarn since it is weak in places and falls apart. So this one won't be a gift bag, since I'm not sure how well it will actually end up holding stuff.

I pretty much made up this pattern...I knit a square, then picked up stitches along side the sides of the square. Then I knit one row of k1 yo to double the number of stitches. Then: k2, yo all around, so I knit a knit stitch with a yarn over on all the rows. I knit it till it was about 13 or 14 inches high. Then I did a basic bind off but i knit two together for the top. I didn't bind off the last five stitches....I used the five stitches to start an icord handle. I knit that for about 15 inches, and then kept those stitches on one needle while with another needle, I picked up five stitches on bag (opposite from the start of the icord) and then did a three needle bind off with the handle and the picked up stitches.

So that's the bag! I'm sure there's a lot of more things one could do with this basic pattern.

Cody is doing OK....he's not feeling 100% but I'm taking care of him the best I can. Tim gets home tonight and we'll talk to our vet tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get him feeling a bit better soon.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Off Kilter

I'm feeling a little off kilter right now..for a couple of reasons. The craziness of finishing the term, the happiness and associated sadness of graduation, Cody not feeling too well, and Tim out of town (happy graduation to our nephew Stephen!). The dogs are tired of me hopping in and out, and they both want Tim to come home soon. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of our dog Shasta's death, and that makes me sad too. All these endings (and associated beginnings) all at once. It is just a lot to handle sometimes.

On the knitting front, you've probably noticed I haven't been working on the cable sweater (too hot) or the fair isle mittens (too complex). I am working on bag number 2 for the Summer of String Bag, made out of a hemp/cotton blend that has been in the stash for a year or so. I've also started a pair of sox with Noro sock yarn in pinks and is beautiful!

Tomorrow graduation and then Tim comes home Sunday. Then Summer starts!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I just ran out of gas

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I was hoping to have these socks done to show you today, but I still have about half an inch on the cuff before the bind off. However, they make me happy and I'm pretty happy today, so I wanted to share the socks.

Cody's much better, thanks to all for the good thoughts. He is now eating a bland diet and drinking a bit of water...he was at the Vet's yesterday for another round of fluids and Priscilla feels like he's on the mend. There is a chance, of course, that the cancer is in his pancreas, and we'll see if we can find that out during his next ultrasound in Corvallis.

I'm in the home stretch and looking forward to the term finally being done!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quick Cody Update

It looks like Cody has pancreatitis...not pleasant but not life threatening by any means. He's going back to the 'spa' for another bag of fluids and will hopefully begin eating tonight. Thanks for all the positive thoughts for our little guy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Request for Good Thoughts

Cody dog is at the Vet's...the local vet, not the Cancer vet...because he can't hold down food.

He's getting some IV fluids (he was just starting to get dehydrated), some tests are being run, and it is so lonely in the house without him. Juneau sits at the front window just waiting for her big brother to come home.

Our wonderful vet says there is a good chance that whatever is gong on is unrelated to the cancer, but of course we find it hard to put that out of our minds.

Thanks in advance for the good thoughts for our little guy!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Juneau: The Movie

Since Cody has his own movie on the blog I thought Juneau deserves some equal time.
Not quite as exciting and cute as Cody swimming, but a sweet little video of our beauty nonetheless (imho).

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by kbshee
File this in the 'not so mindless' knitting category. Although I can work on this during television, since there are only a couple of types of cables in the pattern.

This is the Portland sweater from one of my favorite knitting books, A Fine Fleece. My goal *might* be to make every single pattern in this book, and I probably have enough yarn in the stash to do it by now. But anyway, all the patterns are lovely and I'm having a good time knitting this one.

I'm knitting this in Rowan Felted Tweed in the 'treacle' colorway...and brownish color with flecks of blues and yellow and reds in it. It is a nice neutral and lightweight enough for a sweater for the PacNW.

This is the back...I'm a bit more than half way through the back, then the front is exactly the same, then come two sleeves with a saddle as most of the sweaters in this book have a saddle shoulder, which I'm looking forward to knitting as I think I can finish that type of shoulder fairly well.

It is still cold here, although promises of summer are in the horizon.WE had the gas stove on last night, and the heater on again this morning for a bit. I don't think i've had a chance to wear any of the summer tops I knit yet, and here I am starting on the fall knitting!

Classes are done (insert happy dance) and now comes a week of whining about grades (students whining about how bad they are, me whining about having to do them). Good times.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Heat is On!

And not in a Don Henley/Glenn Frey kind of a way. In a 'it's so cold that the heat..." kind of a way. June. Hah!

I finished my final class yesterday, and spent much of today grading and getting things organized for the next round of grading.

I had two pieces of good news yesterday: I was awarded a share of a $30K grant for this summer (yay) and my promotion to Full Professor case is moving forward (double yay).

Now if we can just get a little bit of sunshine here!


Monday, June 02, 2008

Messed up perspective

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Somehow, this sock ended up looking like a mini sock held by a giant hand, so I apologize for the weird perspective of the sock.

But I love this sock. Let me shout it from the rooftops: I love this sock!

The yarn is Nation Color by Regia, made famous in a several-months-old post on the Yarn Harlot's blog. I had two balls in my stash at the time and put it in the back of my mind that I really, really wanted those socks...

...I know, like I really really wanted a string bag/cable sweater/sideways top/whatever,.....

....and I cast on last weekend. Easy peasy socks...toe up, stockinette, blah blah blah. But so cute. And they make me so happy.