Friday, January 30, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Today is good. This has been sort of a good week. Today is very good.
I'll tell you why (and if you're not an academic, you won't those of you who get bored just look at the sock picture to the right).

Anyway...last summer I received a grant (pretty big $ for a communications study) to look at storytelling at athletic department websites. So I had a pseudo-theory on fans and spectators to guide the study, I collected the data, I analyzed the data, and I got disappointed that there wasn't much to the study.

So then I started digging around for some more theory (and kiddies, don't try this at home. You're supposed to have the theory in place before you set up the study and collect the data). Anyway. I found some work on genre theory and narrative theory that referenced para-social theory. And that led to some work on fans...which tied back into the pseudo-theory of fans and spectators! So it all works together. I needed one last theory to tie it together...something that would suggest that the Internet allows for para-social interaction as well as TV does--and lickety split I found it!

So now I've gone from a descriptive study that wasn't very interesting to a theory-based study that is, surprisingly, kind of interesting. Yay!

Para-social theory, for those of you who don't know, is the idea that we can form 'relationships' with characters on that we think they're sort of real. Not in a stalking, crazy way. Just in a comfortable, let's keep watching the show because of our attachment to say, an American doctor played by a British guy on a Fox TV show. Just sayin'.

So, I'm happy. I'm also happy because we finally got our car fixed so it no longer smells like burning oil and coolant, that the sun is shining, that the week is over, and that my Whirlpool socks look so cool! The sock pictured is modeled by my hand. You can't see the beads but the colors look very accurate.

Tomorrow we're off to see Brownie, then Sunday the SuperBowl (go Cardinals...and Steelers...I have no parasocial relationships with either team).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to the choke zone

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is fun, fun, fun yarn...Dashing Dachs in the Guppy colorway. Very bright and happy yarn and definitely in the choke zone. And even better, it is sportweight (which I truly love for socks...I think it is because when i buy Dansko Clogs in my 'correct' size they are always a little bit big...maybe I have long, skinny feet?) which means that I can do a sock with 48 stitches, which makes the sock go really fast.

Was that a long enough sentence?

Was it TMI?

Things are busy as usual but good. We've had gloomy weather which makes for some good work time, and my students are all doing well and seem to be fairly low maintenance. My Campaigns students are working on the glass needle project, and many of them have even started knitting. I'm pretty excited about that!

I've finished twelve whole rows on the 428 stitch sweater (row 14 is a decrease row, I think I lose 28 stitches or so on that row!! Wowee!) and it sort of looks like something (not sure what but something). And the beaded whirlpool socks are moving along and looking like something too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Springtime in London Socks!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished these fun Springtime in London socks...they're made out of Madtosh yarn from Woolgirl and I love them. I do wonder why the color is named what the color is named, but no worries. A bit in the Choke Zone too.

Had a long day yesterday...went to Portland and drove back last night with my colleague Leslie. It certainly is more fun to drive 220 miles with someone to talk to!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Socks from book

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So in the last post I told you how much I liked the new book "Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn". I cast on for a pair, the Whirlpool socks, on Saturday. The socks have little beads as well as a pattern that goes round and round. I love it.

I've altered the pattern a bit by not doing the picot edge and by stringing the beads on as I go with a crochet hook instead of all at the start, but I think it matters little.

The yarn: Wollmeise Am Kater Polar. Lovely to work with and bright gorgeous blue and purple colors. The bead were in the bead stash.

In other news:
-I finished the DB sweater, the one with the weird sleeves. Sleeves still weird but maybe blocking will help.
-We shopped for environmentally friendly counter tops, and found a new product called Eco Top. Anyone heard of it?
-Another sock, using Dashing Dachs, is in the works.
-for some reason teh 'g' key is sticking on my computer. Too many cat feets on it I think.

Friday, January 23, 2009

If..... like to knit socks.
...OK, you love to knit socks. have a lot of handpaint yarns in your stash just can't stop shopping at Woolgirl and The Loopy Ewe tend to have little pooling problems are happy to knit just a plain old sock, but every once in a while you need a little sock oomph...

Then you have to get this book.
I don't know how I missed its must not have been the 'event' that other books have, but this is a great, great book. Lots of patterns for knitting variegated and handpainted yarns, and most are 'pay a bit of attention but go ahead and watch Jeremy Sisto on Law and Order, you'll be ok' level of difficulty.

I'm going to cast on for one with some yarn that just got here from Woolgirl. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A bunch of stuff

Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Happy election day! I hope the great energy and spirit of this day lasts a nice long time.
2. Sock! Springtime in London Colorway from MadTosh. Love the yarn, love the colors, and the orange and yellow gets it into the Choke Zone.
3. Request: send good thoughts to my big brother, Bart. Long time readers of the blog might remember his accident two years back where he lost some toes. On Saturday, he fell while clearing ice off his driveway and broke his hip....he's on the mend but could use a few good thoughts.
4. I finished seaming the Debbie Bliss cable peplum just need to do the collar.
5. No progress on other Debbie Bliss peplum.
6. Madtosh yarn? I get it from has to be my favorite online knitting store. If you haven't visited Woolgirl yet please don't wait another moment!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Behold! Six hours of knitting!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Ah, the joys of a peplum.

I did some measuring and realized I didn't have to do the 470 or whatever stitch cast on...I could reduce that number by 48. So I cast on 422 or something like that. There are 15 repeats of 26 stitches (two different charts, one 14 stitches and one 12 stiches), plus two ten stitch patterns on either end and one additional 14 stitch hunk to balance out the 26 stitch thing.

So, after six hours of work, I finished five rows. Yee!

Luckily, the whole peplum is only about 54 rows, so I'm about 1/9 finished (i did the cast on and two rows on Saturday). The pattern isn't hard, it is just long. The wrong sides are just knit the knits and purl the purls, and in every other RS row there is only one or two cables in the 26 stitch hunks (on some RS rows, though, there are four crosses...yee...and I'm definitely cabling without a cable needle, using my own patented 'pinch and pray' method).

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Since I don't have a lot of yarn eye candy to show you, maybe you'd like to see one of my Christmas gifts from Tim that we finally have had framed and hung on our wall. It is a lovely colored pencil work of Cody and I. When we first moved here...probably 11 years ago...we took a short hike up "Moon Mountain" which is the hill behind our house. It was covered with wild flowers (so it must have been springtime) and I stopped and blew a dandelion head off with Cody. Tim took a picture that has always been one of our favorites. Tim had an artist in one of his classes and asked her to reproduce the photograph for us, which she did just beautifully. After Christmas we took it to the framer's and had it matted and did some restoration work on it.

We just love it. It does capture Cody and even me in my younger, bang-ed days. I'll treasure it forever.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blue (silver) belle

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is the first 'hunk' of the silver belles pattern (Debbie Bliss, from VK anniversary issue) done in Berroco Alpaca. The actual color is a little deeper, but as you know I am incapable of photographing cables well.

This is the sleeve and the upper half of the left front and right back. The cable panels surround what I think is called the Trinity stitch, and the edges are in moss stitch. It looks good. I like it.

And now I'm going to cast on for the peplum, which goes from one front all the way around to the other front. And it starts with directions no knitter wants to read:

"Cast on 470 stitches".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Choke Zone

Originally uploaded by kbshee
As you might have noticed, I knit a lot of purple socks. I do love me some purple. Anyway, I realized that I have a lot of purple socks, and that as much as I enjoy knitting purple socks, maybe I can get out of my purple sock comfort zone and into my Choke Zone (which, according to The Google, is the opposite of the safety zone).

So, I'm going to try to knit fewer socks in the Safety Zone and more socks in the Choke Zone. And here's the first pair. I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea...but they are pretty fun. The yarn is Killer Bees from the Yarn Pirate, and it is hard to tell but there are four colors in it: black/grey and green/yellow, and I think they're fun.

And definitely in the Choke Zone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Not too exciting a title, sorry. Let's try again.


Yes, yes, I think that's better.

Anyway, finished these socks in Panda Cotton in the mixed berries colorway. I didn't really see the stripey pattern until I took this picture, but they look good! I like this yarn...there's a lot of bamboo in it, which is a very sustainable fiber (gotta love the sustainability thing) and even though it is a bit splitty, it is a pretty good yarn to work with.

My second class in Portland was last night...Mondays are long days. I've got to schedule some good times in Portland once I get through some major project stuff in early February.

I'm staying at a really nice hotel...the Heathman...and the UO gets a great rate. So you can get pretty spoiled. Last night, the doorman recognized me and greeted me by name. Now, there may be all kinds of hotel mumbo jumbo that get them to make some lucky guesses, but it was still pretty nice. Plus, there was a personal "welcome back" note in the room. That was pretty nice too.

A little niceness goes a long way, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Catching Up

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I guess I can't put this off any longer. I really need to finish the Cable Vent jacket. Regardless of whether the sleeves are %&$ed up. Regardless of whether, if true or not, that the sleeve is a different color than the rest of the picture (and please, in the name of all things holy, let this just be a trick of the light). Regardless of whether I hate to seam.

So it took me three hours to put the sleeves in. And they look like crap. I think I can do some magic knitting trickery to make them look a little better. We'll see.

How are you? We finally got out of the rainrainrain pattern we've been in for almost two weeks and have a cloudless sunny day today. The dogs have been walked and have the muddy feet to prove it. So nice just to be outside and not worried about wet.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And here is more to show you. You need to look kinda close to see how cool the pattern is...and this is a sleeve. This is the 'silver belle' jacket, another Debbie Bliss pattern that I will probably end up hating, but whatever. This is one of those patterns that has an intriguing construction...what you have here is a sleeve, and then you can see on the needle that I've cast on additional stitches on either side. These additional stitches will form the top part of the front and back of the sweater (i.e. one side of the front and one side of the back). Then you knit another sleeve exactly like it. Then a giant peplum (you cast on 425 stitches, seriously) and then sew it all together. It should be cool, and I should be wearing it in 2012 if I'm lucky.

Anyway, more socks to show you as the theme for this year in sock knitting is GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Which means for me, basically, that I can't knit every sock in purple.

Friday, January 09, 2009

First Week Crazies

So, this week I teach on Monday and Wednesday, and I teach Monday nights in Portland. I'll spend many Monday nights up there, and drive back Tuesday morning.

For almost my whole career, I've taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So starting on Monday (and the Monday after a break) made my head spin. And then Wednesday, when I finished teaching, I was pretty sure it was Thursday. And yesterday (Thursday) I spent the day thinking it was Friday.

Crazy times. I have some knitting, but not much. Stay tuned.

ps. My Eugene class is Ad Campaigns, where the students work in teams to do a complete ad campaign (but you might have guessed that). My client? Michael and Sheila Ernst. I get to talk yarn all class! Good times!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tutti Fruittis

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So tired I can barely write, but wanted to post my newest socks, I call them Tutti Fruitti because the colorway is 'mixed fruit'. Fun socks. Both are done, I just don't have the energy to take a picture of them.

Nothing wrong, just typical beginning of the year stress and the fact that my day started yesterday at 8:30 am in Eugene and ended at 9 pm in Portland. I spent the (sorta sleepless) night in Portland and then drove back down this morning. Head. Hurts.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the Blue Flame socks (remember these? The Unique Sheep dyed the yarn for me last winter after I was jonesing for socks that matched our gas fireplace). they are, in front of the actual fire that inspired them! They turned out great and I love how they pick up all the colors of the flames.

We're slowly getting back to 'work' mindset...although having a few weeks off is a HUGE perk of my job, it does make it hard to transition back to the real world. This term I teach Mondays and Wednesdays here and Monday nights in Portland...Mondays will be long days for me, but I plan to spent a lot of Monday nights in Portland so that will be like a little treat.

We watched "This is Spinal Tap" last night which I think is one of the funniest movies every made. We watch it every few years and always laugh out loud. I can't believe it is 25 years old! Anyway, Christopher Guest is a genius. If you haven't seen this, or any of his other films, get them on your Netflix Queue right away!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm not a big one for resolutions, but I do have one for this year. I want to be sure to be grateful for everything I have every day, and to not let the little annoyances become overwhelming. OK I guess that's two.

And knitting resolutions? When I look back this year, I have accomplished some things fiber-wise....there is the purchase of Brownie, our alpaca, and my adventures in natural dyeing. I have started (and abandoned) colorwork but I want to accomplish more in that be able to do fair isle AND to steek. We'll see how that goes.

Happy New Year!