Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mini Mochi Ball Two

So I decided that I wouldn't even try to make sock #2 match sock #1. So I cast on the toe with yellow (the other toe was cast on with red).

And good thing, because the colors are REVERSED on this ball.

So yeah. I think I'm pretty sure I hate mini mochi.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New look for the blog: easter eggs and bling

I was playing around with Blogger and changed some colors around, and then I uploaded a photo to serve as the banner. It is of my bling scarf.

Why am I telling you this? I really don't know, since if you're at the blog you've noticed that we've had a little spring overhaul.

Enjoy! Let me know if it is too bright!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I finished the bling scarf...this is the crap yarn on beautiful needles scarf that I blogged about earlier. So glad this is done. The yarn was just a battle the whole time. I do love how it looks...with this picture you can see all the little blings and it really just sparkles in real life. But honestly, the yarn feels like straw. I'll try a nice soak, but since it is mainly acrylic I don't see much improvement in the horizon.

But it is done.

I bought two good magazines yesterday; the first issue of The Knitter and the 6th or 7th issue of Yarn Forward. Both are UK magazines, so they are a bit pricey, but they both have nice patterns...advanced ones but not impossibly so, made with nice yarns. Yarn Forward even gives you 'cheap' and 'expensive' alternatives for the yarn, which is terrific.

Mini Mochi update: another knot found, with the color pattern reversed again. I'll have enough for a sock but just barely.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
So, the "Hail to Purple" socks are done. Go U Northwestern!

This has been a nutty week with meetings on top of presentations on top of classes on top of reviewing manuscripts. This is the first week in a long time I've had not one free moment for my own writing, and I'm feeling weary. I mentioned to one of my colleagues that I felt like the end of spring that the year should almost be over, when we're honestly just a hair more than half way done. It should get better...I only teach one class spring term, and I don't have to go to PDX each week.

In terms of writing and deadlines, I probably only need two good mornings of time to finish off what needs to be finished off in March, and I will hopefully get that next week. So I have to keep being optimistic and know that it will all be over (only 3 weeks left of class!).

So enough of my bitchin'. Got a very nice note back from Laura at Jimmy Bean's wool...I told her what happened and that I was not writing to complain to JB's, just to make sure they let the mfc. know. And as Alyssa said in yesterday's comments, they DO know. So will I buy more mini mochi? Not sure. I do love it though.

My bling scarf is more than halfway over (yay, as the yarn is so not fun to work wtih). No work on the Silver Belles but I plan to work on that during the Oscars on Sunday.

So this weekend: sleeping, reading for fun (I don't think I even READ last week), time with dogs, other various pursuits that are dull to write about but wonderful to live.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mini Mochi Love Hate

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So Mini Mochi is one of the new 'it' yarns. It is from Crystal Palace, and is a very soft, single ply sock yarn that knits up into nice colors that merge and blend into each other.

I started a mini mochi sock a few days ago and there are a few things I love about it. The repeat lengths is great. The yarn feels very soft to knit with, and these socks will feel terrific There are a few slubby places...thick yarn with almost no twist in it...that is sort of odd but I don't mind it. And the price is right...about $8 a ball although you'll need two balls for a pair of socks.

But right now I'm sort of hating the mini mochi. Why? Well, one of my loves is the color repeat. But right after I got through one set of colors, there was a knot in my ball...and the color jumped from red to GREEN with the knot. As you can see from the sock, this is not the 'natural' color repeat.

So I broke the yarn at the knot, wound off a bunch of yarn til I got to the 'correct' color repeat, spit spliced, and began knitting. But honestly? This put me right off Mini mochi.

I know these knots are found in other yarns (cough NORO cough) and I also had this problem with Kauni from Webs. This yarn came from Jimmy Bean's, so I'll write them and tell them about it.

STay tuned.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kim can't come to the blog right now.

She's enjoying a beautiful pre-Spring day in Eugene.

I"m sure the weather will suck tomorrow, so please come by again then.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spring Bling

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or, Crap Yarn on Beautiful Needles

So I usually don't buy really cheap yarn, because I do believe you get what you pay for. But. The last Herschnerr's catalogue tempted me with this cheap yarn called "Sequin Cloud" which is yarn that has sequins sewn in. I've drooled over Tilli Thomas yarn with sequins etc for a long time but just can't rationalize the $. So I thought I'd buy some crap bling yarn just for fun.

I made up this pattern, which is basically four garter stitch rows following by a drop stitch row (three wraps, drop two on the following row). It's hard to see the bling in this photo but look in the lower left hand corner...that bright spot, that's a sequin. The scarf looks sort of crummy in this picture but it actually is sort of fun looking.

Unfortunately, it feels like the crap yarn it is, but for a fun spring blingy scarf i'll deal with it.

I'm knitting this scarf on my new needles from Sheila and Michael ...they're clear glass, which makes you think at times (when you're tired, that is when I'm tired) that there are twice as many stitches on the needles than there really are, which is fun (especially when you realize that there aren't!). Lovely needles to work with.Certainly way too good for this crap yarn.

Did I mention the yarn, it is sort of crappy?

Friday, February 13, 2009

On my toes

Originally uploaded by kbshee
These socks...the Whirlpool socks in Wollmeise...are hard to photograph. First, being winter, it is sort of dark in our house. Then, if I do find some light, my shadow shows up in the picture which takes away from the beads. But anyway, you can sort of see the beads in the cuff on this picture, and at least you know I'm done.

I like these socks a lot...just complex enough to do when I'm not brain dead watching tv...and they look great. I didn't string on the beads but used the crochet hook technique, which is my preferred way to knit with beads...I'm sure I don't have the patience to string on a gazillion beads on the yarn. Even though I know logically that it would probably make the knitting go faster. Whatever. I'm happy, and that is the important thing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Per Rosy's Request

1. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

5. For the recipients, leave a comment for the person who tagged you, so they can go and read your answers.

Here are my random facts.

1. My feet are long and skinny. Good news for a sock knitter.
2. I am a big girl who is not technically big boned.
3. I often prefer the company of animals to the company of people.
4. I used to collect beaded belts with names of tourist spots beaded on to them; I have quite a collection. You'd be amazed where you can find these things, if you look.
5. I seem to be more comfortable in a cluttered environment than in a neat-as-a-pin environment. In the latter, I think I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
6. I truly, truly, truly love Duran Duran, and I always will, no matter what you say. Bonnie understands this.
7. I love to put the laundry in the washer and transfer it to the dryer, but I hate that final step.
8. I love winter more than summer, night more than day, and Tim most of all.

Big picture

Originally uploaded by kbshee
From yesterday's post. Flick appears to be back in business.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Manic Monday Brain Dead Tuesday

Last night I taught in Portland and stayed overnight. I couldn't sleep...snow was predicted, not a lot, but I think I was just anxious about it. So I woke up at 6:15, threw on some clothes, and left right when the snow started coming was pretty light but constant all the way home, and I got out of Portland before all the slipping and sliding accidents started.

Not much t show in Knitting Land other than the first twenty or so rows of the "Silver Belles" sweater...this is the one that has 400 or so stitches on the needles so it takes me about 45 minutes to do one row. So, it isn't going quite as fast as one might wish it to go.

Today is cool and rainy, a nice day to curl up on the sofa with a pup and with the fire going.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Revisionist History

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I went to college (undergrad) at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. For the first 25 years after I graduated, I told almost no one this fact, mostly because my Northwestern experience was not that great. It's not that it was horrible: I learned a lot, I met some great people, and I discovered a lot of interesting things about myself. But I didn't make any of those 'rest of your life' friendships, I didn't fit into my first major well, nor did I fit into a very heavily-Greek social system, and it was very, very cold there all the time. Anyway, I'm sure my college experience wasn't that unusual, and I don't regret going there, I just don't really celebrate it.

Until recently. I don't know if it is my recent infaturation with the color purple (Northwestern's colors are purple and white, and my favorite line from the alma mater is "Hail to Purple, Hail to White, Hail to Thee Northwestern".) or a conversation with a student development phone caller who was just so nice and happy and interested in what I've been doing since graduation (seriously), but I've had better thoughts about Northwestern lately. I've found myself mentioning that I went there more often that I used to (I used to just say I lived in Chicago, or went to school in Chicago). I read the alum emails. And I bought two skeins of Lorna's Laces "Team Spirit" sock yarn in, you guessed it, purple and white.

I have to admit this purple isn't real Northwestern purple (it should be a lot deeper) but even the fact that I recognize it isn't true Northwestern purple is something.

I'm even thinking about getting a sweatershirt. Hail to Purple! Hail to White!

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm delighted: that the author of "Bringing Home the Birkin" stopped by the blog and left a comment! Thanks Michael Tonello! The book is a delightful story of love, travel, and designer accessories.

I'm annoyed: with VK customer service. I haven't received the latest issue and have sent four different messages over the past ten days with no reply, even though the website promises two day replies.

i'm delighted: with the latest socks from the choke zone collection, Dashing Dachs in Guppies.

I'm annoyed: that my camera cannot adequately capture the colors.

I'm delighted: about tomorrow's Woolgirl update.

I'm annoyed: that I have to leave here at 7:30 to motor up to Portland, so I might miss it.

I'm delighted: with warm, spring like temps we've had this week.

I'm annoyed: that this means winter knitting is coming to an end.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

This is how I roll.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
OK, so I love that expression and am desperate to find a way to work it into my every day conversation. But I have yet to be able to do that, mostly because 1) I'm over 30 and 2) I don't really know exactly what it means.

However, I figured that maybe how I roll is the Whirlpool socks. Because it combines a lot of knitterly stuff that I love.

1) Wollmeise, of course. This is Am Kater Polar (or something to that effect...what does that mean, anyone who speaks german?).

2) Knitting that goes diagonally, but doesn't require YOs. Awesome! This is accomplished through ssk and kfbs, as well as a slip stitch with a bead.

3. Beads. i love these metallic beads and I love having the beads be part of the diagonal pattern.

The sock as a whole is magic, I tell ya, magic.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The beads and the whole diagonally thing are only on the cuff, but the cool part of the sock is that the yarn patterned into stripes on the foot. I hope #2 turns out like this one did.

Today is Brain Dead Tuesday...I just can't sleep when I spend the night in Portland, regardless of how lovely the Heathman is (and it really is nice). I think I get a bit wound up teaching on Monday nights (because that is how I roll) and so its hard to relax. I should probably just get drunk after the class and just pass out (because that is how I roll) (or actually, that is how I don't roll, so it probably isn't a good idea).

So how do you roll?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

More good.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This has been a really nice, relaxing and happy weekend...and it isn't even noon on Sunday yet!

Yesterday we went to visit Bil, Julia and the alpaca for a lovely sunny day visit. We also got to see the Dexter cows (cattle?) that were just passing through the farm...they are being traded for five more alpaca, including a fairly newborn cria. I can't wait to see the new additions!

Brownie is doing great...she was one of the first ones out of the barn to come say hi, and all the alpaca are very, very tolerant of people being around them. They'll all pretty much eat out of your hand, but prefer not to be touched (which is so hard...they are so soft and fluffy you just want to give them big hugs). We checked out the fleece on the young is really beautiful.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here's a group photo of all the young ladies...Brownie in the back, Sunshine in the middle, and Helena at the front. It is so fun to see them all together...they enjoy being part of the herd, but they all have their own personalities too. Helena was the most adventurous yesterday. The funniest thing was seeing how they reacted to the neighbor's cat who is hanging out in the barn over the winter. They all looked at the cat with interest and intrigue...not at all scared or worried. The cat wasn't at all scared or worried either. Animals are awesome.

Today is my Knitterversary...five years ago I taught myself to knit during an uneventful Superbowl using a Lion Brand learn to knit kit that had short, fat needles and a skein of Homespun. I've come a bit of a ways, but have a long ways to go. It does seem like much longer than five years ago. Lots of socks have travelled through our lives since then!