Monday, March 30, 2009

Twist of Fate

Warning: no knitting content here. Just an odd little story.

So last night after dinner, Tim and I are sitting around chatting and we get on the topic of my college days. When I was in college, I changed my major every year, and still managed to graduate on time (thank you, AP Spanish credits and one year of summer school). My majors were: freshman: theatre (note the pretentious spelling), sophomore: radio/tv, junior: art history, senior: film history and criticism. So what I hadn't previously mentioned to Tim was that the reason I changed to Art History was I had sort of a crush on an Art History professor and I wanted to take a greek and roman art class with him and you had to be a major to take the class, so I changed my major.

Makes perfect sense, right? At least it did to me and to the ten Tri-Delts (yes, there were!) in the class.

So Tim asks me if I remember the prof's name (of course I do) and if I had ever googled him. Hmm. No. I've googled just about every other crush I've ever had but not him. So I got out the computer and googled him.

And now the weird part. He was fired from Northwestern because he was convicted of stealing his dead mother's social security checks. For five years. Five years after she died...apparently he didn't report Mum passed on. And after NU fired him, he filed am employment discrimination suit against NU, because he suffered from a disability: "extreme procrastination behavior."

EXTREME PROCRASTINATION BEHAVIOR!

No wonder he never asked me to marry him (joke).

What's the oddest thing you've ever found when you googled someone?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

OK. So now it looks like something


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is the 'Silver Belles" sweater that I've been working on for quite a while.

How are you, by the way? I'm OK.My head is sloooowwwwly starting to clear out and there is hope I will be my old self sometime soon.

Anyway, I finished the peplum and here it is sort of cozied up to the 'top quarter' of the sweater. It looks pretty good so far. I bound off in a antihistamine haze and forgot I was supposed to leave three groups of ten stitches on the needles for future bands...but no problem, I'll just pick up stitches where need be.

It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. And I love the tips of my toes and the camera cord in the picture. Classy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring? Break?

Warning: intense whining (or whinging if you're British) below. I know I am a very lucky woman with nothing to complain about, with a good job I can't get fired from, with a terrific family, and I should count my blessing every day.

Whatever.

This has been the worst. spring. break.ever. Weather: sucky except for today (and we took a nice walk and the dogs visited with neighbor dogs). HEalth: sucky (my head clears up a nanobit each day, and I'm so tired of stuffy, buzzy head). Work: much done (finished two conference papers, proof read a book, and analyzed survey data. But please. It is supposed to be a BREAK.)

At least spring term shouldn't be awful..just one class and no major projects to complete. Then summer break...which will be a break, believe me!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee



Here is a sock I started for Tim when I realized I hadn't made him socks in a long time. Call them the guilty socks, go ahead! It's Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed or something like that. Nice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updates


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Here is a sock, from a book I like but can't think of the name of.
2. Sort of a feather and fan.
3. Head and sinuses=still stuffy
4. Little fun to be had this spring break.
5. Finished sleeve of sweater though.
6. Reading "Testimony" by Anita Shreve. Good book that can be put down like every five minutes if need be to blow nose.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Reverse!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Reverse Stockinette, that is.

This is that sweater I started a while ago...using Crayon by KnitPicks. It has been a good thing to work on when my head has been all stuffed up, and it can go pretty lickety split when I'm reading.

Note the contrasting blue stripe at the bottom. The sleeves have a red stripe around the bottom, and there's a collar around the V neck that is both blue and red. It should be a nice, bright and fun spring sweater.

Cotton isn't the easiest yarn to work with, but this isn't bad. I also like that it is very, very light (it's Pima cotton...does that make a difference?). It is also sort of loopy...not a boucle but not a smooth textured yarn by any means, and it makes a nice textured swetaer. The original pattern called for boucle but this seems to be a good substitute.

Tim is home safe and sound from visiting family in St Louis, so all is back to normal in our house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If this is spring break...


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
...then I need a mulligan.

So it is cold and rainy. Yesterday there was a snow-like substance on the skylight and the windshield of the car. I'm in day 8 of the Mother of All Headcolds, which means I can only sleep in one position or my stopped up head hurts my eardrum so much that I can't sleep.

So how are you?

Tim has been gone since last Friday which, given the state of weather and head, is OK. I've spent most of the time on the sofa watching crap on TV and knitting, so at least some knitting has been done.

This is the Silver Belles peplum, I have maybe an inch or two left, and you can see that the main cable part is done. This does really look nice, even if it is an awful lot of knitting.

I uploaded pictures of my other projects (but this is as good as it gets, interest wise) so I promise there will be more to show in the days to come.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yuck

Or, of course this happens during spring break.

I'm sick. My head feels filled with cotton, and today I have no voice at all.

Damn.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Good weekend!

We had a nice albeit very soaky weekend as a huge rainstorm came through the Pac NW. Our backyard, never a very flat or even patch of grass, now has little lakes of mud and water across it. More rain this week...this must be winter's last gasp.

On the plus side, the spring flowers are really starting to bloom. And all this rain just might keep the trees from killing me allergy-wise (although that is too much to hope for).

Friday night we went to a concert: Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. Jay Ungar wrote a lot of the music for the Ken Burns "Civil War" film and we've enjoyed the CD of "The Lover's Waltz" for years. Joined by Jay's daughter and son in law, the concert was a great mix of all types of Americana music. Hearing it live was so much better than hearing it on a CD (something you can't say for a group like, um, Duran Duran, as much as I love them).

Saturday we hung out and in the evening watched "Milk". Incredible film. It also makes me wonder...just what was I doing when all that was going on? Did I really have my head in the clouds (or in the sand) at college? Being in theatre, I knew a lot of gay men, and I wonder why they didn't discuss it more. Anyway. Rent this if you haven't seen it yet.

And yesterday we almost finished our taxes...one last piece of info needed and then woosh, off they go.

Mostly I worked on the mindless sweater this weekend, finished the back and am a good portion of the way through the front. I need more photogenic projects!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Insert Excuse Here


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
So it is the last week of classes, and after Monday night's final in Portland I'm done for a bit. I only teach one class next term and it isn't in Portland, so hopefully I won't be quite so crazed.

I finished these socks last weekend, but haven't gotten around to showing them in their final glory. Three Irish Girls, O'Meary. Nice yarn, and beautiful, saturated colors. Thumbs up on this yarn!

My Campaigns class did their final presentations for Michael and Sheila's glass business, and did a fine job. The teams really got into the knitting mindset, which was nice. I invited two knitting/marketing people to come watch: The Bon and Sheila V. and they gave great feedback. I learned a lot about logos and things (man, there's this whole lingo in graphic design which I'm totally unaware of).


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is my newest mindless knitting project...it is a sweater (this is the back) from "Knitting the New Classics" by Kristin Nichols. Have you seen that book? It came out in 1995 but has some lovely timeless designs in the book. The sweater I'm knitting was originally done in a boucle, but I'm using the pima cotton from KnitPicks (crayon) which is sort of bumpy, and this works because it is a reverse stockinette pattern. It's a simple sweater but the texture of the yarn makes it look good. And that yarn is so light and soft...and pretty easy to work with for a cotton. So that's going well. It will be nice to have a new little sweater for the spring, which is pretty much ready to burst out in Eugene.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim found Jessiecat, also known as Princess Sleepswithyarn, on my office chair this morning curled up with a skein of handgefaerbt from Germany. She seems to enjoy the company.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

OK, I admit it


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've been spending a little bit too much time on Facebook, and when I'm on Facebook spending a little bit too much time playing Bejeweled Blitz. It is like potato chips. Just one more (minute). Anyway, I really have to get that in check.

But there is knitting going on. Here's a close up of the peplum sweater.. i think there are 26 of these cables repeated around the sweater. It's a bit of a project. Anyway, the sweater is looking good and won't be finished til next winter, which is just fine.

Next week is our final week of winter term, yay! I'll be just about all wrapped up at the start of finals week, then I'll get a week off for spring break. I only have one class spring term and that's ready to go, so I'll actually have a BREAK! With lots of knitting time. I'm excited about that.

But winter refuses to leave...there are predictions for snow showers through Monday...with no accumulation but I'm worried about all the flowers that are just starting to come up.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Let's try this again.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
OK, it looks like Flickr has stopped misbehaving and is letting me post the picture of my first sock made with the Three Irish Girls O'Meara yarn.

This is good yarn. It rates an "A" in my book for color intensity and saturation. It rates a "B" for the yarn base...just your usual base, not overly twisty, not very shpringy, but fine. Feels fine to knit with. Not my favorite, but perfectly workable.

The week is over and the last week of classes is next week. I'm prepared for some intense drama in my Senior capstone class but whatever. Bring on some spring break!

Is it me?


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or is something wrong with this photo?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Week 9

This is the 9th week of a 10 week term. This is the time of the school year when everything just pretty much gets shot to hell. Students freak. Faculty scream. Staff get cranky. It is the combination of the end of the term and the craziness of registration for next term that does this.

One of the problems with the quarter system is that we're always either Getting Started or Finishing Up. We're constantly helping students figure out their schedules, write petitions, look for jobs. Just as one group moves through another one pops up. I write rec letters til my fingers fall off.

It's all part of the gig.

So that's my excuse (oh, there is a point!) for no knitting pictures. Week 9. Yeah.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bad Blogger


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I know I was a bit content-lite last week, and I apologize. I had a week that wasn't completely eaten up with meetings, and so I accomplished a lot! (This is as opposed to being busy, a phase where I tend not to accomplish anything). Unfortunately, nothing as lovely as knitting accomplishments, just finished a conference paper, wrote two grant proposals, reviewed two articles, and various other academic effluvia that must. be. done.

But I did finish the even mini mochi socks. And yes, they are the same size, even though the one on the right looks a little shorter than the one on the left. As I mentioned, I went out of my way to make these completely different and I succeeded, with a little help from the yarn. The second ball had no knots (yay) but was incredibly splitty. At one point, the lack of twist made the yarn fall apart in my hands as I was knitting it. Luckily it spit splices very nicely. I have numerous holes in the sock from the splittyness. Let's just say that no more mini mochi for moi. YMMV
I do have to say these are incredibly soft socks and the colors are so deep and jewel like that it almost makes up for the poor quality of the yarn. Almost. I hate to badmouth a yarn and from what I've read on Ravelry, Crystal Palace has asked the mill to add twist and, when they knot, to make the knots in the same color pattern. So that might improve the yarn, and I never say never, so I may try the yarn again in six months or so (the blue/green colorway is really lovely).


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
And I'm about halfway done with the peplum for the "Silver Belles" jacket. I've done two or three reductions of stitches but there are still plenty on the needle. I love that now it looks like a Christmas tree skirt. There's an aran tree skirt in one of the books of Christmas knitting (Handmade Holidays maybe?) that I've always wanted to do, and now I think I can do any old aran pattern that strikes my fancy. Some day.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying this project although it takes forever to get through a row. There is basically a four-row repeat, where 1/4 are complex cables and the rest are either knit'em as you see 'em or a less complex cable. So it really is just the mere number of stitches that takes time for this project.The yarn, in case you forgot, is Berroco Alpaca something (Alpaca Soft? not the lite one). A beautiful, WELL MADE yarn that is a pleasure to knit with.


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
And now my own personal March Madness: trying some new indie dyers. In these tough economic times, it is important (imho) to support independent sellers of beautiful things, so my spring pledge is to buy ONLY indie yarn. Maybe another way to say this is that I've given up Big Corporate Yarn purchases for lent. Anyway, I'm also planning an end-of-month destash but I've let myself purchase some fun new things in the meantime.

Clockwise, starting in upper right:
-Three Irish Girls "O'Meara" colorway. Purples, blues and golds, very pretty. This will become my next "mindless' sock. Jen at Woolgirl carries this yarn.
-Twilight Knits "Tudor" yarn: light blues and purples that is just lovely. She had a store on etsy.
-Enchanted Knoll Farms "Black Magic Woman". Very saturated colors, just lovely. I bought a few more skeins from them too. Enchanted knoll has an etsy shop and you can also buy from Sheri at the Loopy Ewe .
- Family Pendragon yarn "Medee". More saturated beauticiousness. No that's not a word. Also available from Jen at Woolgirl.