Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Project


IMG_2356.JPG
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


IMG_2352.JPG
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!


IMG_2306.JPG
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


IMG_2301.JPG
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


IMG_2296.JPG
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.


IMG_2298.JPG
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


IMG_2295.JPG
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!


IMG_2286.JPG
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.


IMG_2285.JPG
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....


IMG_2269.JPG
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?


IMG_2267.JPG
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


IMG_2263.JPG
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.