Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Poor Neglected Blog,

I wanted to wish you the best for the holiday season. I know I have been promising to pay more attention to you, and as the song says, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. But between getting ready for Christmas, taking care of Pilot, and just, um, being, I haven't given you the attention you deserve.

I'd like to say I'd be a better blogger, but I can't promise. I can tell you that Pilot is settling down, and seems to be becoming a calmer, quieter dog every day. But that didn't stop us from having numerous discussions on the best way to handle the Christmas tree, which seems tailor-made for a Pilot disaster. We ended up 1. using only non-breakable ornaments that we could deal with being destroyed and 2. putting up a rusting purply pink exercise pen that belonged to Louise, the rabbit, surrounding it. So far, it has worked, and doesn't look quite like the tacky cheap discount store tree display that it may sound like. A Christmas miracle!

And I'd like to say that life will settle down, but it probably won't...I'm teaching three classes next term and have a lot of projects, research wise, to handle. I have a lot of knitting going on...I even finished a sweater....and when the camera batteries are recharged, I think I can find the time to post them.

So, dear blog, what can I say, Life Happens. I think you'll understand. In the meantime, I wish you the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of New Years, and peace on earth, good will to all men, women, dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and alpaca. Sheep and llama too.

Monday, December 07, 2009

More excuses

There is knitting to show, but no knitting pictures. I give a final exam tomorrow, and I think it is all downhill from there (except for say the dozen --I kid you not-- letters of recommendation that I need to do).

Between classes and trying to keep life in some type of order, it's been busy. And on Saturday, poor Juneau got bit by a spider (no proof of the actual biting thing, but she does have a bite on her nose). We could literally see her swell up: first her snout, then her jowls, then her wattle (aka her dewlap). This was accompanied by some itching and some vomiting that still persists. Luckily, we noticed right away when she started swelling and got some benadryl in her lickety split, and I think that helped out a lot. She's feeling ok and looking much better.

Pilot continues his crazy Pilot ways and we love him more every day.

And there is knitting. I promise.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Long Weekend!

I love a long weekend. Even when it is sort of cold and sort of wet (ok very wet) here in Oregon, it is nice to have time to catch our breaths, think some thoughts, and enjoy some time with family and friends.

We had a nice TG with our friend Sterling and the dogs and even an appearance from Jessie the Cat, who rarely comes out to say hello. We spend the morning cleaning and much of the afternoon cooking, with intervals for WII and chatting and my famous artichoke heart dip (artichoke hearts, mayo, parm, bake for 45 minutes, yum).

I found this meme on my good twin Kim's blog and thought I'd do it today in lieu of my usual Pilot-and-knitting blather. PS...Kim has a new Etsy Shop that you should probably check out if you want some great holiday gift ideas.

Anyway, here goes:
What are your current obsessions?
Do I have a current obsession? It might be finding chew toys for Pilot that he doesn't finish up in ten minutes.

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
White tee from J Crew.

What’s for dinner?
It's the day after Thanksgiving, wanna take a guess?

What’s your greatest fear at the moment?
That the term will never end.

What are you listening to?
"Fresh Tracks" on KLCC.

If you were a goddess what would you be?
The Goddess of Pups, where they would all freeze in their evil puppy play the minute I rest my gaze upon them, and after a moment they would scamper over and fall into a sleepy puppy pile at my feet.

What are your favorite holiday spots?
Our cozy room, in front of the fire.

What are you reading right now?
I'm about to start on "Wolf Hall", because one can never read too many fictional accounts of the reign of King Henry VIII.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Sleep and chocolate, but not simultaneously.

Who or what makes you laugh?
Tim. Pilot. The stupid things students say (if I get past the frustration part). The good twin. Glee.

What is your favorite spring thing to do?
I live in Oregon. It's the same things as my fall and winter things. Go ducks!

What is the best thing you ate or drank?
Chocolate volcano cake, and Steak Diane from Cafe Soriah.

When was the last time you were tipsy?
Either the last time I had a glass of wine or a shot of Nyquil.

What is your favourite ever film?
Probably "The Player."

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your children?
My children are dogs, and the lesson is "It's all good."

What song can’t you get out of your head?
Right now it is "Elenore" from the Turtles, because it was in a xword this morning.

What book do you know you should read but refuse to?

I don't refuse to read "Ulysses", but have just never gotten around to it.

What is your favourite color?

What do you like to think about while you are waiting to fall asleep?
Living in a castle in England.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ah. Life.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Between busy-ness at work, and busy-ness with our new little friend, life is a bit crazy. Good crazy though. Tim and I have both been dealing with bad colds but we're slowly getting better. So all those things have meant, um, not a lot of blogging. My apologies.

Pilot is a joy. Here is he being a joy while he destroys a zauberball that was a sock and now is just a mess (such a mess that it is sitting in a plastic project bag, I can't even stand to look at it). He's stubborn at times, and this morning he tore out of his canvas crate AND bit into a battery (ouch) but we're working it out. He's such a happy creature and full of positive energy.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
There has been knitting...and in fact some good knitting. This is a sweater/cardigan done in one piece, I'm using Rowan Soft Lux in a light purple color with a gold thread in it...if you look closely you can sort of see it sparkle. It's lovely to work with and has even survived Pilot running around with it and having it fall off the needles. I enjoy working on this, and basically stockinette has been the extent of my creativity these past few weeks.

So we're just about at the week-and-a-half left of the term point, and I'm more than ready.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New etsy jewelry shop

My friend Bonnie recently opened a new B Glass Designs shop at etsy...and no, it isn't fiber but beautiful architecturally inspired jewelry. Check it out!

Because there is nothing else to talk about

Originally uploaded by kbshee
We're now into Day 4 with Pilot and things are going well. He has established two dens in the house (one in a crate, one on a pillow we bought for him) and he is starting to accumulate his treasures on his pillow (he has unearthed every long-hidden cat toy in the house). He is starting to get the hang of housetraining, he seems fine being left alone in his crate during the day, and he is settling down quite nicely.

He still wants to terrorize the cats, but they're learning that if they get on a windowsill and look down at him, he'll chill. It's pretty funny.

Anyway, our little friend is a delight. He's having his first vet visit today and we hope that goes well!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Welcome Pilot!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
We went to our local animal shelter on Friday....Tim had seen a picture on their website of a dog that 'spoke' to him, and when we got there we found out that the dog was on 'hold' and that it would be a bit of a handful for us. We were thinking about leaving when I noticed a very quiet and gentle and frankly, silly looking dog, and spent some time with him. He's a Basset Hound/Something mix, he weighs about 45 pounds, is somewhere between 1 and 2 years old, and was a stray from LA.

His name, as of Friday, is Pilot.

He's a joy. He's a character...he is full of energy and love and happiness and joy. He follows Tim around like he is a god. He chases the cats and they don't seem to mind too much. He keeps nuzzling Juneau who puts up with it.

And he likes yarn.

He grabbed the Zauberball I was working with for Socks and ran around the house with it (not quite sure what's going to happen with that project now). He also found a hank of Wollmeise in the 'yarn room' and placed it gently at my feet. He's had various interactions with WIPs that have resulted in the reorganization of my knitting bag and the placement of every project in its own bag.

And I don't mind a bit.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I usually can control my WIPS...somewhat...I really do try to only have maybe three on the needles at any one time. But I'm not doing well in the past few weeks since a bad case of startitis has settled upon me. I think it is because I have several 'concentration' projects that were started at the start of fall and now I don't have the concentration to do them!

So my concentration projects are:
-a lace sock I started eons ago
-a Cookie A sock
-the St. Patrick sweater

And my non concentration projects are:
-the Holla is the sleeve using my favorite braided cable. It's going pretty fast.
-a shawl collared no-seam sweater than I just downloaded from Webs that I'm using a soft Rowan yarn (it has angora in it) that also has a bunch of sparkly stuff in it
-a sock using Zauberball.

So you'll see more of those all soon!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Halloween was relatively low key around our house. There was a big football game on at 5 pm, so we really weren't expecting a lot of Trick or Treaters (and we had.....1. yay). Our friends Steve and Jen brought Erin and Evan by in the afternoon, so we decided to dress up Juneau as Dora the Explorer.

She truly enjoyed it, and can't wait til next Halloween. Oh she wants to tell you about it herslef:

....woof woof this is juneau and my mother is so so wrong about that and if she tries this again it will not be pleasant....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

No knitting's a day for MAGIC!

In a comment, Alyssa asked me about the Harry Potter-esque books I've been reading. This summer, in a state of Harry Potter withdrawl, I searched for some other books that have that same feeling. While (to quote Prince), Nothing Compares to You, Harry, these books are pretty good.

1. The first series I discovered is written by Michael Scott (no, not the manager of the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper company). Scott is British (always a plus) and expert in Celtic Mythology. The first book is "The Magician", followed by "The Alchemist" and "The Sorceress" and the fourth book, "The Necromancer" will be published next spring.

Things I Like: the stories are set in modern day and 'star' two twins, Josh and Sophie, who are the next hope (we think) to save the magic world. In their quest to build their new powers, they are helped by people with magical pasts (Nicholas Flamel...he didn't die!) as well as fought by some well known evil doers (Machiavelli!). The action moves between major world cities (Paris, London, and SF) and magical worlds. The depiction of magical creatures, particular the Celtic ones, are incredibly well described and I finish each book feeling like I learned something new.

Things I Sort of Don't Like: Scott is the Dan Brown of magical literature, and most of his chapters involve a cliff hanger that is resolved magically in the next chapter (or maybe three chapters away). They are a bit too action oriented for me, lacking some of the nuanced character development of Harry Potter.

I am eager to read the fourth book, so this is a good series.

2. The Bartimeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (Brit, check). The first book is "The Amulet of Samarkand" and the second "The Golem's Eye". I haven't read the third one yet but it is on my nighttable. In these books, magicians have taken over England and apparently are planning to take over the world. Magicians aren't really the good guys. The commoners gather together to plot to take over the magicians. They're not really the good guys either.

Things I Sort of Don't Like: these books are very dark. They feature a young magician who is highly ambitious and wants power. There are almost no 'good guys' and magic tends to be used for bad. Did I mention these books are dark?

Things I Love: the books switch narration between an omniscient narrator and the voice of Bartimeus, a djinni (think Barbara Eden) who serves the young magician. Bartimeus is about the funniest narrator that I've ever read....I laugh out loud reading his chapters. This character with his dry, witty, and snarky take on his life as a djinni is delightful, and lightens up these very dark (did I mention that?) books considerably.

If it wasn't for Bartimeus, I would have given up a long time ago. But I'll keep going.

3. The Septimus Heap series, by Angie Sage (a brit chick! Yay!).

I just started this series (I think there are five books) and this one is my favorite. Not sure when it is set, but the characters live in a castle-like area where magic (or Magyk as magical words are described in the book) once used to reign but the wizards have been taken over by a big brother-like communist-ish powerful group where no one has names and most people have numbers. The main characters are, again, young magical people, assisted by an assortment of creatures,witches and wizards.

What I like: Wonderful characters, vivid magical creatures, basically evil villains, and good lessons on life all rolled into one. The good characters have inner conflicts which I like...questioning the value of their wizardhood and stuff like that. Really imaginative places and things make me want to keep reading.

What I sort of don't like: the kind of annoying way every magical word or phrase is bold and printed in a different, 'magical' font. It's cute the first five times. After that, not so much.

Like I said, I think this series will end up my favorite.

So there you have it: Happy Halloween. Oh, and if you haven't read "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" yet, get ye to the bookstore or library and get it. It's an excellen, grown-up book for Harry Potter lovers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yes it is a back

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love the patterns in the book "A Fine Fleece"...the patterns are intricate, but the shaping is a bit on the boxy side so while one (me) is concentrating on the cables one (me) doesn't have to worry about sleeve decreases.

The sleeves have some shaping, and then they finish with a 3-inch wide strip that forms the shoulder....I think it is called a saddle shoulder? I love that technique. So this is the back, in iall its glory. Including one design feature which you can find, a la "Where's Waldo?"

I cast on last night for new socks using Zauberball, in my opinion the best yarn name in the world. The yarn itself...meh. A bit splitty and not a great hand. But it knits up nicely, and the colors are vibrant.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

See...I told you it was a big black hunk of stocikinette!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Just to show you...

Here is what I've been working on... Holla from Knitty . There will be cables on the sleeve and around the neck.

But it matters little, given that this is knit in black. Oh well.

The pattern features my favorite cable...the braided cable...even though no one will be able to see it. But I'll know it is there.

Yesterday (Saturday) Tim was on an 11-hour field trip, so I spent the day baking (brownies and lasagna!), knitting (finished the back of St. Patrick), watching football (Go Ducks!) and reading. I have a pile of work books (psychology of the internet, grassroots lobbying) and fun books (teen Harry Potter wanna be books) and I keep putting off the work books in favor of the fun books.

Winter is coming, and there will be plenty of time for them all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The vast majority of my knitting this week (which has not been at all vast) has been a black hoodie knit from Rowan Calmer in stockinette stitch. There will be cables on the hood and on the sleeves, but on the whole this is a big ol hunk of black stockinette.

I'm sparing you.

So here's a closeup of one of the cables from St. Patrick. I like it a lot. I love complex cables, and I don't even get upset when a little design flaw occurs. I can see at least two in this picture and I'm fine with them.

Of course, this is the back, and who really comes up to someone and scrutinizes their cabling? Even I only do that in my head.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pool or stripes?

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I never know what I"m going to get.

Socks, basic brown bag socks, done with Lorna's Laces, I think as part of the Loopy Ewe birthday event. But I'm not sure. I like the colors though.

And I think the finished sock has a few more stitches than the unfinished sock on the foot area. Hence stripes vs. Pool. Matters little in my world.

Who else is excited about the new 30 Rock tonight!?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been working on St. Patrick, from A Fine Fleece, in fits and starts. I remember knitting a few rows back in September when we were on the coast, and then I remember knitting some more during a few football games, but I haven't been working on it at all consistently.

And so imagine my surprise when I figured out yesterday that I'm almost done with the back!

In addition, I've made some 'design choices' on the cables (ie I screwed up early and just integrated the screw up into the overall pattern) and made a total mess on one area, but I'm happy nonetheless.

It's Rowan Felted Tweed, that isn't quite as purply as it looks in the photo, but a lovely color. Closeups to come!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Random Knitting Things I Don't Get

1. Cowls

I've knit cowls. I love how they look in pictures. But on me, they look like: oh, here's a girl with a balloon head! Where's the rest of her knitwear?

2. Mitred (mitered?) things, particularly in a jacket/sweater

Has anyone actually knit a mitred jacket? Let me rephrase that. Has anyone ever knitted more than one? Because don't people think you're wearing the same thing?

Mitres are something I like to loo at, from afar, at someone else at a knitting event.

3. Fingerless mitts

Part of me loves the idea, but do you ever wear these and don't feel like a character out of a Dicken's novel? Maybe I should just wear them and get over it.

4. Knitted pants

Do these look at all decent on anyone who isn't a toothpick?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

F is for...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
FALL All of a sudden, it is very, very fall-y here in Oregon. Usually we have summerlike weather until about the middle of October, but the winter rains have already started and I wore a cashmere hoodie yesterday. 'Nuf said.

FIRST My first week back at work is over, it was

FRANTIC but much of that was my own

FAULT because I pretty much blew off the entire month of September from a work perspective. I worked hard this week to get caught up on all the reviews and letters that I had promised to complete, and now I'm pretty

FOCUSED on my classes and on having a success term.

FANNIE's FINGERING yarn was used to make these great purple socks. The colorway is Bramble. A nice thickish sock yarn, which I love, which made the socks a very zippity doo dah type project. I like how this feels a lot. If you haven't tried this yarn, you can

FIND it at Woolgirl.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love getting packages from knitters...don't you? They are always so imaginative and fun. The package on display in the video below was my prize for nominating Johnny Depp for The Knitter's Hunk contest hosted by my good twin Kim Spence Dean.

Thanks Kim!!! I love it all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

National Alpaca Farm Day

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Today is National Alpaca Farm Day, and we celebrated by going out to Silk Creek Alpacas to visit with Bil and Julia, see all the alpacas, and most importantly, gaze with envy on the new fleece picker and electric drum carder. I also spun one of the batt's on Julia's spinning wheel, which is lovely (an Ashford, that Julia got for pennies!). There was a reporter from a local news station there too so my spinning hands might even be on television. If so, I'll post a link here.

This handsome fellow is Atom, whom we are going to 'adopt' into our family. He's a fiber boy, meaning he won't be a breeder but he has lovely fleece and white to boot. So he'll be a good companion alpaca for our future breeding boy...we're thinking ahead a few years to starting our own alpaca farm.

This is the official end of the summer for me...classes start next week. I'm working on a better attitude for fall term. Hope I succeed!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The past few weeks have gone by in a blur...first the trip to the coast, then saying goodbye to Cody, then the horrible days after we said goodbye to Cody, then pulling myself together for a weekend trip to Ashland, Oregon, then getting back into the swing of school stuff.

Classes haven't even started yet, and I'm worn out.

Thank you for all your kind words about Cody. It still hurts....and I still have those 'automatic' 'Where's Cody" thoughts at random times. Juneau is being a very good girl and being my constant companion, and I do appreciate it. While they'll never be another dog like Cody, we will love another dog again.

Ashland was good...I was still a bit raw emotionally so what better balm is there than seeing some Shakespeare plays? Kidding. Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which rotates nine different plays across three stages, including an outdoor Elizabethan theatre. We saw "Much Ado" and "Henry VIII" at the outdoor theater, and then an incredibly awesome "MacBeth" at the Bowmer Theater (an indoor theatre, pretty intimate, and this production was just chilling). That was the highlight for me, plus I had started to pull out of the funk by the time we got to that guaranteed-to-put-a-smile-on-your-face Crowd Pleaser the Scottish Play.

There has been mindless knitting, but I also realized that I finished a pair of socks that I hadn't shown you yet. Everyone in the pool! A pair knit from the same ball of yarn. Crazy.

Oh...went to the Web*Sters in Ashland and bought some discounted Mountain Colors. Score.

OH! and my nominee won the Knitter's Hunk contest at Kim, my good Twin's blog . I also was tied for the awrd winning colorway. Double score.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Little Guy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Ten months after we got married, Tim and I made the big decision to welcome the patter of little feet to our family. Four little paws, to be more specific. We brought home a 6-week old, 7 pound furry bundle of love from the pound in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that we named Cody. And from the day he came home, he became a Very Important Pup in our lives.

He joined us on hikes, on boat rides, on cross country road trips, on camping trips, and on a gondola lift. He was welcomed into homes and offices that hadn't allowed dogs in. He accompanied us to classes, to dinners at friends' houses, to movies and to Canada. He learned to use an iPhone (just kidding on that one). He was our constant companion who asked so little of us.

Liver tests showed a wonky liver many years ago, and our vet couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. A little over two years ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and had sections of his liver as well as his spleen removed, and underwent chemo treatments. Once he finished chemo, he had more than a year and a half of good health.

This summer had its ups and downs, but Cody enjoyed some good swims in the local park and some short walks around the neighborhood. He joined us in Pacific City for a short vacation, and spent a sunny afternoon dozing on the deck listening to the ocean. He started failing about halfway through the vacation, and knowing his time was coming to an end made the last days bittersweet. Sunday, before we came home, we took one last short walk on Cape Kiwanda.

He passed at home, with the gentle help of our good friend and vet Priscilla Gibson, and now joins our other beloved animal friends at the Rainbow Bridge. I like to picture him with angel wings surfing the giant waves by the bridge.

I miss him so. Thank you for your kind thoughts. He was, and will always be, one of a kind. But aren't they all?

Monday, September 14, 2009


We put Cody down today. It was time. We had a few good days at the beach but by Saturday it became clear he was ready to go to the Rainbow Bridge. He passed peacefully and quickly at home in the presence of our wonderful vet.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Has it been a week?

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Thank you so much for your positive thoughts and comments about our Cody dog. It was an odd but good week last week...we took him to the vet first thing Monday, and our vet wanted to try one last anti-nausea drug that is used on human chemo patients. It had an astonishing effect, making him seem much happier and less in distress, and bringing back some of his appetite. Once he kept food down, we added back an antibiotic to try to control his diarrhea, and that kicked in on Thursday. He's also getting a low dose of steroids to help with his inflammation.

The upside is: he's put on some weight, he has a bit of his old personality back (ok, sometimes a lot of it!) and he has a good appetite for a few hours every afternoon. The downside of course is that any drugs are not good for his liver, which is where his cancer is growing. But we have our dog back, and we'll be able to take him on one last trip to the coast.

As I write this, I know to some it may sound selfish, but we spent much of last week ready to call it quits at any sign that he was sliding again. And he didn't slide...he has little rallies every day. So I don't think he's quite ready to go, and the coast!

We're staying in Pacific City, where we own a little piece of land, and we're renting a house one row back from the beachfront houses...we've stayed in the house before so we know we'll be comfortable. The steps are steep, so we bought one of those lifter things for's a piece of canvas with handles that you put under the dog so you can support/life him while he's walking up steps or getting into the car. A little easier than lifting him up and carrying him up steep steps a few times a day!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And there has been knitting. I've started "St. Patrick" from "A Fine Fleece" using Felted Tweed in this great red color. The cables in this sweater are so pretty! I've also been doing a mindless sock in the rainbow colorway from Woolgirl. I'm working on the second Cookie A sock and there's a third pair in the basket that I've lost interest on. The big question is of course how much to take to the beach...all three projects, of course, and I have three other skeins of sock yarn wound into balls...just in case. Ha!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

End of summer musings

I haven't been posting a lot this summer, and I don't really know why. I've been busy this last few weeks on my 'side project', which is a site for small businesses (feel free to come visit). I've also started interviewing small retail owners for a new book...we're looking for small businesses that use social media. If you do, or if you know of anyone, send me an email: kbshee AT comcast DOT net, or just leave a comment here with the info.

The other reason is that our Cody is not doing well, and we think we are coming close to the time when that hard decision has to be made. This last week has been our constant search to find something he wants to eat. We have a terrific vet, Priscilla Gibson at Bush Animal Hospital here in Eugene, who is helping us every step of the way. We are headed over the coast after Labor Day and hoping Cody is well enough to enjoy that trip. It's just day by day here.

But I have been knitting, although not as much as I'd like. Hopefully this coming week will allow for a bit more knitting.

The end of summer makes me blue...the end of beautiful weather here in Oregon, the promise of yet another year of challenges at my job, and just the end of the luxury of free time that I"m so fortunate to have. How is the end of your summer going?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I can't believe it has been over a week since I've blogged. I don't even know what I've been doing (ok I do, but still). And in fact, knitting is going on.

These are Cookie A socks (not sure which ones, I'll check and let you know). There's either major errata in this pattern or in the pattern knitter. Anyway, all I can do is hope to replicate the errors on the second sock. Or not. It matters little to me.

The yarn is really more purply than shows up here.

In other news: finished mohair sweater and I look like a sheepdog with it on, but I don't care; finished a sock in interesting cotton yarn (more on this later), cast on for another sweater from "a Fine Fleece". So life goes on, too busy, especially for summer, especially for me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summertime! Mohair!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I mentioned a while back I was making a mohair sweater in the summer (because nothing says hot weather knitting like a mohair sweater).

If you haven't knit with mohair, you might not be familiar with some of its fiberous joys (she said facetiously). There isn't a whole lot of give, and it is very dangerous to tink.However, a seamless raglan SS pullover seems to be just the ticket for this fiber. I'm using Le Gran Mohair, which really has beautiful colors (although I'm using off white) and a nice feel and texture.

I'm currently working on the yoke, which is going fast since, of course, I'm decreasing 8 stitches per round every other round. This should be in FO land by the weekend.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The Pink Top, it is done!

See? Two rectangles? Held together with multicolored buttons? And you open the buttons at the top to have a neck?

Isn't it ingenious?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Joining the "Annoyed with Knitpick Options" club

I'm knitting my first sock from Cookie A's "Sock Innovation"...

...and let me interrupt myself. THis is a beautiful book, with gorgeous sock patterns, but my friends, I think those of you who have looked in this book will agree with me that these patterns are not for the timid. They are...complex.

....using my Knitpick options in size 2, which I've never really had a problem with, when the tip disconnected from the cord and fell off an entire side of cable knitted sockness.


I couldn't even find most of the stitches to pick them up.

Luckily the ugliness will be in the back of the sock. But I'm annoyed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here we go!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The next time you see the long pink rectangles, they will be a top.

I've finished both rectangles, and sewed two side seams, one on the lefthand side of the lefthand rectangle, and one on the righthand side of the righthand rectangle. There is an opening for my arms to come out. Next...buttons!

And it will all make sense.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The other end

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here's a picture of Hanami taken from the other end.

No, I'm not at Sock Summit.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Still Life with Hanami

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm back from 26 hours in LA! I actually got back Tuesday night but spent yesterday in sort of a netherworld of recovery and thinking about the trip...a very intense yet good meeting about my 'side' project, a small business marketing consultancy. We're about to relaunch our website and publish our second book....and announce our third book! stay tuned on that.

But. Of more interest. I blocked Hanami!

Can I just say that blocking wires are the best!
As is a very warm, very dry day for blocking?

I'm thrilled with this shawl. And thrilled to be done with it. More pictures (from the other side) tomorrow!.

Edited to add: I just saw Wendy Knit's post from today. I did not plagarize her title! I swear!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Yeah. About that.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So there' nothing really to show you, apologies.

Unless you'd like to see a second long rectangle of pink knitting.

Or a white mohair tube that will someday be a sleeve.

Or perhaps this? I cast on for a sock from the Cookie A book. The Milo sock. It starts with 72 stitches on the cuff. So I cast on with two circs, 26 stitches per needle, and knit the 10 rounds of the cuff.

And then as I looked at the charts for the leg, I thought "where are all the stitches I need?" It took about five minutes to realize that 72 divided by 2 was not 26, but 36.

Frog. Cast on. Knit again.

So not much to show, so you can look at the cute cats from the quilt at last week's quilt show that I liked.

Two pieces of good news: swellling on hands almost gone, and blocking wires are in house. I'm off for a quick trip to LA on Monday so I'll check back later in the week.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I could be SO cranky...

..but I'm not. But I could be. Because of the following:

1. Still hot (but cooled down a bit, reducing crankiness)
2. Dropped a stitch (sort of cranky) on mohair sweater (more sort of cranky)
3. Disturbed a hornets' next last night (highly cranky hornets), but was only stung about six times (which, from what I can tell, should make me grateful, thus reducing crankiness).
4. The knowledge that two sock yarns now cost $30 per skein (Wollmeise and Yarntini). I know it's all about supply and demand: economics=cranky.
5. The fact that it takes a KnitPicks order 10 days to travel about 200 miles (very very cranky. I'm waiting for blocking wires for Hanami).

And you? Cranky now?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Next Time You See Hanami:

Originally uploaded by kbshee
-it will be bound off.
-it will be on blocking wires
-it will have a found a place to rest at my house while it is drying.
-it will be drying pretty quickly because it is supposed to be 100 degrees here...100 degrees!!...for most of this week...most of this week!!!

So many unusual things happening. All of a sudden, I'm six rows away from finishing Hanami! And it goes out with a bang...for the last inch or two, you double the number of stitches so the shawl ends in a ruffle*. So that's what I'm on now, so it is a little slower going than before but I'm pretty sure it will be done today.

I sort of can't believe it. The second half went soooo much faster than the first half, but the second hal of this pattern was much less, shall we say, strict in terms of if one (I) makes an error it can be rescued pretty quickly.

I'm looking forward to seeing it blocked...and then of course, casting on for something new.

*One of my readers (and you know who you are Kim) commented that it seemed like my knitting always had to have written explanations. And I guess she's right.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
My knitting is boring.

Not boring to me, really, but just not a lot of visual interest. I'm not working on a sock right now (there is one in my knitting bag, but it is lace and I can only handle one lace project at a time). So that leaves me with two long rectangles and one tube.

Here is one of the rectangles...the little Debbie Bliss top that is two long rectangles folded over (the fold will be my shoulder, and this is...obviously...only one rectangle). The two get joined with colorful buttons (and I found some online today, whoot!) and it is quite cute. The first rectangle is finished and the second one is on the needles, so look out!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This morning, we went to the annual Coburg Quilt Show. I was looking for some knitting inspiration and really didn't find any (just one quilt, loo for it in the days ahead) but this one quilt really enchanted me...lots of cute little quirky cats. Please click on the image and take a look at it, there are so many beautiful details...the checkerboard treatment on the frames of the cats, the tiny little quilts where horizontal and diagonal pieces cross..just great little details. I took a few close ups which I'll post soon, they do make one happy.

We're glad we went early because it was already 80 degrees at 11:30...way too hot for us here in the Pac Northwest!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A bit of frustration

So, slight rant coming, but honestly I'm not sure who to rant against.

Earlier in the spring, I saw an ad for Classic Elite that had a knit sweater over a really, really cute green summer dress. I emailed Classic Elite asking where the dress was from. They called me back (hello? Good customer service? Thy name is Classic Elite) and explained that the dress was from Urban Outfitters, but it was from the previous summer so it probably wouldn't be available in stores. I checked. It wasn't.

Yesterday the new Rowan came (Rowan 46) and there's a pattern called Bourne which is a knit kidsilk haze top thing (vest just doesn't do it justice) worn over the most gorgeous sheer beaded black top. I'm going to a black tie event in November and have a skirt but I've been thinking about what top to wear. And this top would be great! So I emailed Rowan. And got a lovely Reply via email from a lovely Rowan worker who said the top would have been bought a year ago and so wasn't probably still available. And the lady who bought it wasn't in the office just then.

So I get that photographs have to be done far in advance of them getting into my hot knitting hands. But what sort of surprises me is that yarn companies apparently have to get the 'other' clothes off the racks...just like mere mortals! And so by the time the ads/mags for the yarn companies come out, the yarns and patterns are 'a la mode' but the clothes are 'old' and 'out of date' (not really, but you know what I can't shop the photos in a yarn mag for the clothes worn by the models).

It is a bit frustrating to me!

And then I I the only one who notices the clothes when I should be noticing the knitting?

And then I wonder...would it kill them to credit the clothes?

And then I wonder....oh, never mind.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's either this, or a long pink rectangle

Originally uploaded by kbshee
My knitting isn't too photogenic these days, and for this I apologize.

But I'm nearing the home stretch on Hanami...this was taken before a marathon knitting session Saturday night. Have you seen the HBO show In Treatment? Well, we're watching it on DVD (season 1) and it is perfect for lace knitting. Because, basically, the premise is that a bunch of people go to this shrink for analysis. So they're just talking. Very little action. Which makes it perfect for lace knitting.

Great if hot weekend. Took our morning walk on Saturday, followed by home made blueberry pancakes on the grill outside, which we've never done before and it worked out deliciously. I think I knit and read for much of Saturday. Yesterday we hit the road early to drive up to a mountain-ish lake for some paddling. We managed a good hour without any major wind, and then the wind picked up which was a challenge, but in a good way. Usually we have some 'issues' with lakes because speed boaters can be annoying, but we hit the lake on a good day and, I guess, early enough that the obnoxious people weren't out yet.

The sort of magical thing about the paddle was that there were dozens of newts/salamanders in the water, just hanging out. They didn't seem to mind our presence, although they did seem to play dead when we paddled by.

Today, Juneau dog is getting her teeth cleaned and a small perianal mass removed (ouch). We're hoping it is benign; she's a young dog and it is too early to start with worrisome problems. Please hold a good thought for her.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Because it is 90 degrees outside...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
...I'm knitting a mohair sweater.

I needed a 'mindless' project, and this fits the bill...a bulky weight sweater in the round with a light-as-air mohair yarn (Le Gran by Classic Elite in the natural color).

I've knit quite a bit more since this photo was taken, and it is still the same weight as a little dandelion puff ball. It is somewhat enchanting in that way.

Busy day. Ish. I gave a keynote speech at the kickoff breakfast for a great charity event: the American Diabetes Association walk a thon.

I did OK. You know that old theater adage about sharing the stage with kids? It is correct. Especially if the kids have diabetes! They were great kids; my speech on Corporate Social Responsibility really paled next to Rylie's new insulin pump. Anyway..I hope they raise a lot of money!

Then this afternoon after a noneventful conference call i donned goggles and helped Tim cut wood strips. Not to be outdone in the creativity department, Tim is building a kayak. By himself. Out of wood. Strips of wood. So today we made some of the strips. Which basically involved me making sure I didn't cut my fingers off on the whirling blade of the saw.

Good, good times.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Phenomenon

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This happens every summer: I don't know where the time goes.

Now, during the 10 months of year that I"m 'working' (ie at my academic job where I receive a paycheck), I am very organized and can handle my job, a variety of household tasks, and knitting very easily. Yet in the summer, remove the 'real job' and I'm wondering how, how, how I get everything done in the regular year.

And of course I know how. In the 'regular' (non-summer) year, I don't take time to train the new wisteria plants around the arbor Tim built last summer. I don't go to the farmer's market (twice in two days). I don't make blueberry muffins (twice in three days). I don't pull a few stray weeds here and there. I don't clean out my tshirt drawer.

I love summer. I just sometimes feel it is otherworldly.

These socks are done, and I'm taking a wee sock hiatus of 'basic socks' (I have a lacy pair where one is done, and the other is just uninteresting). I'm doing a mindless sweater instead.

Oh, and I'm destashing some stuff on Rav.

Let me know you visit the blog and I'll give you 10% off any yarn in my destash.!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In which I frighten myself by getting stuff done

I've been getting stuff done!

I'm not sure where this little burst of energy came from, but here is what I've done over the past few days:

1. Cleaned my kitchen (ok doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is).
2. Done two major power walks with Tim.
3. Met with my former PhD student Kati and plotted out a research project that will result in five possible publications.
4. Went to the farmer's market AND the grocery store.
5. Made blueberry muffins. From Scratch. People.
6. Photographed 10 skeins of yarn and put them on sale on Ravelry (here is the link: linky and 10% off for blog readers!
7. Did half of a human subjects protocol.
8. Cast on for a new sweater....
9.....after knitting a swatch.

I reserve the right to edit to add other things that I've remember I've done.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hanami Pt. Gazillion

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So on and on with the Hanami stole. I think I've finished 90 out of 200 or so of the 'second half' which is, obviously, a lot simpler than the first half. Where the first half was acomplex basetweave pattern, the second half is basically making a bunch of little holes in the stole.

I can do that.

I've been keeping up with a minimum of four rows every day, most days I do about 10 rows on this. So I think I will be finished in a few weeks, which is nice. I can feel that the end is, well, if not near, then relatively close.

The yarn is more purple than blue, which doesn't quite show up here.

I'm ready to be done with this.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Alpaca Prep

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I knew that I wanted to process Brownie's fleece myself...but wasn't quite sure the best way to do it. i've taken a class in drum carding and certainly would be happy to drum card it, but unfortunately drum carders are pricey and they don't come up for sale used very often. I have a set of hand cards so I was thinking I could do rolags. I have to admit, though, using hand cards sort of bores me. There's a lot of back and forth, back and forth, and it can get a bit tedious. In fact, a lot of spinners teach their kids to hand card so they don't have to. But lacking in the kid department, that doesn't make sense for me.

Then I read that alpaca takes to flick carding very well, so I decided to do that. It's fast and easy. Basically, here is a lock of Brownie's fleece (the lighter brown at the top, which I'm holding, is the 'outside' tip and is that color due to amniotic fluid.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Basically, flick carding involves holding the lock on your knee (you'll see I"m using a decorative holiday placemat to keep the sharp needles of the flick card from penetrating my skin...guess how you learn that?).

You rest the flick carder on the tips, and bounce the flick card up and down to open up the tips a little bit. Then you flip the lock over and do the other side. It takes less than a minute to do a lock.

The flick carder looks like a dog comb...maybe 2" by 6" with a handle and very, very sharp teeth. The little teeth work to open up the tips so you end up with a nice lock of fiber to spin. The lock doesn't look that much different than the first lock, it just is a little more opened up with more loft.
Obviously, this is not the fastest way to prep fiber for spinning, but it is a great way to get to know an animal's fleece and to get some practice in this craft.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pink Rectangle

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Not too exciting, this pink rectangle, but let me tell you about it.

1. It is not a scarf.

2. It is knit in Calmer.

3. It is a nice ribbed pattern: knit on the RS, p2 k1 on the WS

4. It is a top.

5. Really. The idea is that I knit TWO rectangles, each about 50 inches long, and then on THIS rectangle (in the picture) I sew on multiple colored buttons and on the OTHER rectangle I make a button hole band.

6. And you leave some buttons open at the top.

7. Designed by Debbie Bliss, who does wonderfully innovative construction. From her design book that just came out. (Edited to fix my geometric shape challenged boo boo).

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Reality > Photo

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This sock yarn is so rich and saturated, and it breaks my heart that this doesn't show up on the screen.

OK it doens't break my heart. But I'd like it to show up better on the screen. The yarn is purple, magenta-y-purple, and light blue...a dark robin's egg blue, I guess it is periwinkle, and it makes a stunning, stunning sock.

DiCentra Designs, Nova Sock, Colorway #7 I think.

Lack of sleep is catching up with me...Juneau can't settle down at night becuase of fireworks and for some reason I've been up at 5:30 each morning.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
As loyal blog readers know, I'm the proud owner of an alpaca named Brownie who lives at Silk Creeks Alpacas , owned by my friends Bil and Julia. They've owned the farm for a little over a year, and it is absolutely amazing to see all the farminess that is happening out there.

Yes, farminess is a word.

Yesterday my friend Sterling and I went out to see the new crias that have been born in the last two weeks. Three crias in the last few weeks, with one due in about a month. The beautiful girl in this picture was born 7/3, and her name is Opal. She is so cute! The other two cria are also girls, and are also white or nearly white.

Which is like winning the trifecta!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is my newest crush....a handsome guy named Jett that came to Silk Creek Alpacas in a trade. He's just about the friendliest alpaca you'd ever want to meet. Anyway, we're thinking about buying him...I wouldn't mind owning a few more.

In addition to the alpaca, Bil and Julia have all kinds of fowl. Now, I'm not a big fan of chickens or turkeys but it is quite fascinating to watch the chickens running around with the alpacas. They all seem to enjoy each other's company, if such a thing is possible in the animal world.

They're also thinking about goats, but unfortunately my cashmere goat suggestion has not made the final list (I guess cashmere goats don't give good milk. As if that matters).

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I still need to weave in the ends but this top is done. I like it but obviously I haven't worn it yet, but I will. This has nice shaping and I like the yoke detail a lot. Believe me, it will look better with the ends woven in.

Cody is doing better, but he's still not 100%. We took a walk around the block last night and he handled that well, and this morning I cooked up some salmon for him which he pretty much inhaled (but other than that, he hasn't been very interested in food). His eye twitching has slowed down a lot so he should be in better shape tomorrow.

We tried some valium-like substance on juneau last night (she is scared horribly of fireworks) and it was just like the movies...about 50 minutes after the dosage she just slumped on the floor into a good sleep in the midst of lots of fireworks going off. That's a nice change.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Deep sigh of relief

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Cody is fine...or he will be in a couple of days. He has a condition called vestibulopathy which is like an inner ear infection which makes him feel like he's seasick...hence the lurching around and the vomiting (I guess I didn't share that with you). He should be ok in a couple of days...he's drinking water on his own and will eat selective things (grilled tuna, for example) and seems to have figured out how to make himself comfortable. He's on seasick drugs !!!! and now we just wait it out. Needless to say, this is an enormous relief to us.

We have a wonderful and caring vet (although I think they all are, don't you?) who loves Cody and is so glad it isn't serious also.

In knitting news...I have finished the first half of Hanami...the basketweave part is complete! It looks good. The rest of the piece is a lot of k2togs and ssks and yos which I think I can handle. I'm glad this is moving toward completion!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Good thoughts please

Cody has lost a lot of strength in his back is particularly bad this evening. He can still walk, but he wobbles and can't keep his balance. We're not sure if this is a manifestation of his cancer, or old age, or something totally different, but our plan is to make him comfortable and keep him happy. He has a big doggy smile so we think he isn't feeling poorly (which is good, because he can't tolerate the pain meds we have for him). His med choices are limited because many steroids stress the liver, and that's where his cancer is right now. So please send good thoughts to my little guy and he'll send them right back to you in his own puppy way. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quickly Quickly

Quick post before I start a busy morning: I've been pretty good at knitting ten minutes a day on Hanami until I woke up this morning and realized I FORGOT yesterday! Yee! I had sort of a busy day with a speech to a local Rotary and then some stuff at school, followed by an outing to our local AAAAAAAAA baseball team's game but I FORGOT.

I feel a bit guilty.

But not that much. The 'ten minutes a day' rules say that you can't make up a day, but since it is knitting and there are no rules, I'll go easy on myself.

Today: working out, errands, teeth cleaning, and then making up the knitting that you're not supposed to be able to make up.

Pictures soon. Lots to show you. Can I just tell you: I love DiCentra Designs!

PS. My friend Kim in Georgia is thinking about opening a 'knitting business' that may or may not involve selling products. What else could a 'knitting business' entail, do you think? My only suggestion was a 'knitting movie night' where people come and watch a movie and knit, and pay you for the pleasure. What ideas do you have?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Perfect Summer

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Sometimes Summer in Oregon can be breathtakingly beautiful. We've had a week of Perfect Summer: blue sky days, with the high of maybe 75, the lows at night going down to 45 or 50, perfect sleeping weather. We're so lucky to have this weather, and we've been enjoying it!

Tim and I are trying to get into a little better shape this summer. We've been 'power walking' every other day...doing a 2-3 mile walk in the hills around our house. Today, on an in-between day, we did a glorious paddle on Fern Ridge Lake. We started the paddle in the wetlands, where we saw countless birds, then went out in the open lake where a breeze was blowing little waves our way, and then finished on the canal: a straight shot in the sun through to the take out point. We've paddled a few times this summer but this was the first real tough paddle we've done, and it felt great....even my unintentional 'wet exit' at the end (and yes, it is what it sounds like).

I've also been knitting, of course...I finished this sock which I started mumblemumblemumbel ago...I think it is from the book 'Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn" or something like that...I have to say this sock is a lot of effort with not a whole lot of payoff, so it has been slow going.

I've been knitting on my Hanami shawl too...I do at least four rows a day, more if I'm in the mood, and I'm almost done with the basketweave part (which means I'm almost halfway done).

Also on the needles are a pair of plain jane socks and a top from the new Debbie Bliss book. And the lace leaf top is done, but needs ends woven in.

I'm reading a book about the Gardner Museum theft...well written but I keep sort of dozing off. But now I'm off ot knit some Hanami so that should wake me up!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
These socks look a bit washed out, I know, but they are/were a good summer knit because of the high amount of bamboo in the fiber. Nice and light. The yarn is from Posh Yarns in the UK, which is a lovely company owned by a lovely lady and I'm sad to say I won't be buying any yarn from her for a while.

Nothing personal to Posh (or to any of the dozens of sock manufacturers represented in my stash), but my stash organizing? It is sort of suggesting to me that I have enough sock yarn. For a while.

How much you ask? Well, I finished organizing the sock yarn into the file cabinet. If I knit a pair of socks every two weeks, let's just say I have enough sock yarn to keep me busy for maybe 4 or 5 years.

But then that doesn't count the solid color yarn in the newly-christened solid color yarn bin.

Or the box of Koigu in the closet (it is a little box, honestly).

Or the big bag of Wollmeise in the closet.

So let's just assume that I don't need sock yarn for a while.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
So last night, Tim had an awesome idea.

We had a four-drawer metal file cabinet in our office. We've recently transferred everything out of this to a nicer wood file cabinet in our office. The idea was to either get rid of the metal one or move it into the garage.

But for whatever reason, last night Tim said "Why don't you use that for yarn?"

Now, dear readers, yarn storage at our house is, um, interesting. It started off quite well with two hanging baskets in the guest room closet. Then expanded to four or five (or ten) plastic bins. Then to various bags scattered around the house. Recently, 'storage' has been 'throw it on the guest bed and take care of it later.'

Later? It's now.

So: I have four drawers: one for purples, one for blues, one for reds, one for multicolors. The rare oranges go in the red drawer and the greens go in the blue drawer. No yellow to speak of. Here is a shot of the purple drawer (some things are in plastic).

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is great in so many ways. It really gets me organized, as opposed to 'find places to put the yarn so we look like we live a sort of normal life." Even better, when I get a hankering for, say, red-pink-gold yarn, instead of going online to see where I can buy some, I can open the red drawer and see that oh, I have one two THREE skeins in that colorway!

And to make myself even more organized, I've been writing down an inventory in a little notebook, and starring the yarns that I think I might want to work with in the near future. The little book was part of a Woolgirl sock package, is a great size and come with a little pen that fits in to the book. And of course..

First thing this morning, i lost the little pen.

At least I get a thumbs up for trying!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Wonder of Books

One of the best parts of my job, and I'm the first to admit I'm a pretty lucky person for this, is that I get summers 'off'. 'Off' in that I don't teach, I'm not expected to attend meetings, and (of course) I don't get paid. But there's a lot to do: summer is the best time to get research done, to think constructively about changes to classes, to do manuscript reviews, and to just sort of catch up on all the stuff I let lag during the school year.

But I can do that all on my own time. The best part is that I can curl up and read for hours at a time. And not read manuscripts or tests or reports or proposals but thick, rich, wonderful novels. That's what I've done for a lot of this past week, my first week 'off'.

And I'm on a roll. Last weekend: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This week: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruis Zafron, who wrote Shadow of the Wind. And this weekend, I've started The Secret History by Donna old book, but one I've never read.

All these books take you places, present you with mysteries, and introduce you to characters that get under your skin. I have to put their books down and get up and do something just to extend the pleasure of reading their words.

I think sometimes when I read during the regular school year I have such a 'get things done' mindset that I don't take the pleasure in a great novel that I should. So this summer I'm going to try to, well, wallow in the wonder of a great book. Join me?

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I went to BSG at opening time yesterday and spent a little bit of money. Just a bit though :-). Here are my overall thoughts on BSG.

1. I love these two colorways from Dicentra Designs. I've heard of this dyer but I don't think I've bought anything from her. The one on the left, Pellenor, is very reminiscent of Wollmeise imho. The one on the right, Colorwheel #7, is her 'nova' yarn. These are both 100% superwash wool, and have 383 yards. And guess the price? Go ahead guess.

2. $16. YES!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
3. I made a promise to myself not to spend more than $20 on a skein of sock yarn, and I was pretty surprised at the number of indie dyers...that I've never heard of before...that were pricing their yarns at $28. Not sure if that is a good strategy or not.

4. Lots of natural colored rovings, but I went for this purple roving from Oregon Trail Natural Fibers in Clackamas. Believe it or not, I have no purple roving in my stash.

5. To the left is 3 hanks of hand dyed spun silk in a purple that matches very nicely. This is from The Fiber Addict in Donnelly, Idaho, and the owner (Mary) recommended spinning the silk in with wool. Which I love as an idea.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
6. Mary at The Fiber Addict was also selling these 350 yard hanks of superwash. I think what I might do is hold two strands together while knitting, for a it would go from solid red to red/purple to solid purple to purple/blue to solid blue. Could look great. Great price too: $4.25 per hank so pair of socks for less than $13.

7. Fewer vendors, I think, and many vendors seem to have brought less product. There were more vendors outside in tents, though, so maybe I'm wrong.

8. I do think there were fewer animals being shown though.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
9. Of course the busiest booth was the Socks the Rock booth. What I love about the BSG is that the STR ladies bring mill ends...skeins with little boo boos, that they sell at a greatly reduced price. HEre are two medium weights in two purply colors (that have to end up as some type of sock, don't you think? together?) and what I think might be a mill end of their flamingo colorway, but that could be Lorna's Laces.

10. I didn't even look at the rest of the booth at STR, because I was trying to keep to my '20 or under' rule.

11. There was a lot of alpaca stuff there. Not so tempting when you have your own source.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
12. I've bought stuff from Stitch Jones online, but was excited that she was there as a first time vendor. She's lovely, with great yarn at good prices.

13. This tomato colored yarn is called 'Salmon Dave' and is 400+ yards for the magic price of $20. I hope she has a good show.

14. I think some of the vendors were a bit worried about crowds, but I saw lots of out of state license plates in the parking lot and hopefully that bodes well for the Gathering.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Finally, I had a great visit with Sheila and bought a new orifice hook, as I've given all of mine away as thank you gifts to various people. So I bought a new one, think and sleek and just gorgeous.

Sheila and I are cooking up a surprise for the Sock Summit!!! Sheila and Michael will be vendors and want to do something really, really special for the Summit and I agreed to help. I won't spill the beans but will give you little hints as we move through the summer to the Summit!