Friday, December 31, 2010

Ten Mile Knit Down

I'm not really big on New Year's resolutions, because like most people if I make them I won't keep them. But this morning I had the idea of setting a goal for using my stash.

Here's the thing. I have stash. I have lots of stash. I have way too much stash (I'm currently selling a bunch of stuff on Ravelry: here . And so the plan is to knit down my stash this year.

As much as I'm attracted to shiny pretty new yarns, this won't be a problem for me. I've been sorting through my yarn this past week, and trust me, I have plenty to keep my fingers busy.

So here's my goal: knit ten miles of yarn down this year. Ten miles of yarn is 17,600 yards. When you think about it, that's like 40 pairs of socks or 15 (or so) sweaters. So I can do this!

Here's the rules:
1. Any ball completed as of 12:01AM on 1/1/2011 with the sweater I'm making now, the next ball I finish will 'count' but not all the previous balls that make up the sweater.

2. If I don't use up the whole ball/skein (like with socks), I'll use a scale to 'guestimate' the total yardage that I actually used.

3. If I fall off the wagon and buy yarn, I must add that in to the mileage goal. So if I buy a skein of sock yarn that's 400 yards, then my total 'goal' will increase to 18,000 yards.

4. My prize: if I knit down five miles by the Black Sheep Gathering, I can buy a mile a yarn.

I've added a running total box on to my blog, over on the right side, so you can see how I"m doing.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In which I read trashy knitting mysteries and knit on the same two projects constantly

Even though I have probably close to 12 UFOs, I find myself knitting on the same two stockinette projects this week: the rainbow socks and the top down pullover. Why? Not sure. But yeah. That's the knitting news.

And even though I have several serious novels to enjoy, I find myself drawn to trashy knitting mysteries this week. It is almost embarrassing to even write that but yeah, trashy knitting mysteries. I've read "Moon Spinners" about the mystery-solving knitters north of Boston and a new series about the Black Sheep mystery-solving knitters who live east of Boston. Both series set in small towns with active artist communities, handsome new men who move in to enchant the single women mystery-solvers in the knitting groups, and oh yeah, lots of MURDER. Love 'em.

I did do a bit of work on Monday, and had a breakfast 'meeting' with a colleague and then was at the eye doctor for two hours this morning, so it isn't like I'm a total slug. Just a partial slug.

And you?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Less of a mystery

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here's the top down pullover in "Purple Mystery". It's going really quickly, as the yarn weight is heavy worsted. I've already divided for the arms, and am a few inches away from waste shaping. This may even get somewhat done this week, and since classes for us start 1/3 that would be a good thing.

The weather is miserable...not east coast blizzard miserable but just so darn WET! There is a bit of snow forecast for tonight (perhaps at 500 feet) but as we are at 400 feet I doubt we'll see anything.

Not much going here other than eating and reading knitting mysteries from the library (and knitting of course). We are still working on Christmas leftovers although have change the food discussions to New Years Eve (current thoughts: dim sum).

Hope you're enjoying this week too!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm totally jealous of everyone who lives east of here who is getting snow. Nothing like a holiday week for a snowstorm! And everyone probably has fairly full fridges and lots of new toys to play with.

All we have here is heavy rain...I can't complain too much because it has been fairly dry this week. Yesterday we took the dogs for our traditional Christmas long walk...about three miles...and stayed dry. That was just one part of loveliness on a very lovely day.

The dogs' gift is to sleep in our bed (with us) on Christmas eve; this was Pilot's first year to join us and the first time he has slept outside of his crate. Both dogs did pretty well and stayed with us till about 2am, when Juneau got too hot and jumped down and Pilot, well, let's just say it was time for him to return to his crate.

Christmas morning had presents and phone calls and home made sausages, followed by the aforementioned walk, followed by the playing of new Wii games, followed by dinner prepared by Tim with his new panini maker, followed by me following asleep during an episode of "Inspector Morse". Pretty much a perfect day.

Here is a sock I've been working on, sorry for the horrible picture, it is Sunshine Yarn in the "Lollipop Guild" colorway from the Woolgirl Oz Sock Club. I'll work on it more today, I think: today the celebrations continue with brunch with friends and the Colts game. It is Sunday, right?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Down!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
First off, Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours! Thanks to you for reading my blog this year and I hope you have a restful and fiber filled holiday.

Second, I cast on for this yesterday---it's called Ginerva's Pullover but I will never call it that since it is one of those twee IK names that bother me. Why can't the designers just call it "Two Yarn Pullover" or something like that? Because honestly, it isn't Ginerva's pullover, it will be mine.
I hate to go all scroogy but I do feel that way.

Third, I love this yarn!! It is Malabrigo Twist, which is made from Baby Merino. Now, I know Baby Alpaca is the first shearing of any alpaca, and I'm guessing baby merino might be the same. It is so soft and squooshy! And it seems like it is knitting up fast, as it is a heavy worsted weight.

Fourth, and the best thing is the color, called "Purple Mystery"

Fifth, it is top down thus no seams. Love this.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

Cookies completed. Presents wrapped except for an emergency last minute gift I ordered yesterday from Amazon (please let it arrive tomorrow please please please). Dogs have Christmas bows on. As does Stella the cat. Jessie the cat had hers on but has already removed it. Bring on Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So it looks like nothing..

Originally uploaded by kbshee
...but it is actually a very useful finished object.

This is a headband, made from Rowan Soft Lux. There's a bit of sparklies in it, which is nice, and it is a pretty dull purple color.What I did was knit a rectangle using k3p1 rib. Then I seamed it. Voila.

I had seen a sideline commentator at some football game wearing one similar to this, pretty wide, so it covers your ears and your forehead if you wish but you avoid complete Hat Head. Which is my goal.

I'll get a pic of me with it on so you can see that it is something. Not much, but something.

Christmas preparations continue: Tim and I made sausage today and I did most of the holiday dinner shopping that needed to be done. Cookies this afternoon!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Public Service Announcement

Originally uploaded by kbshee
If you happen to lose a cat, be sure to check your drawers.

This drawer was open maybe five inches, and Jessie Cat got in and snuggled down amidst Tim's tshirts. We've also found her on the towel shelf in the linen closet, so maybe you should check there too. If you've lost a cat.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Home Stretch

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So these socks: I have been working on them forever. Putting them down, letting them get buried on my desk, and then finding them while I was looking for something else. So I set my mind to finishing them and voila. They are finished.

They are for Tim, they are Panda Wool (which I love) and are so soft and smooshy. This is a good value yarn that knits up great.

I cast on for two projects yesterday (I WARNED YOU!) and I'm making a headband for myself as well as another pair of socks. And I blocked my placemats (they still need an edging). And I also vacuumed the house and washed the sofa covers since our most recent rainy spell and exuberant Pilot together have rendered them a bit, um, funky (we spread out a bale of hay last week and that helps immensely with the mud).

Left to do: wrap gifts, buy greenies to keep the dogs occupied on Christmas morn, bake cookies, and get groceries for Christmas meals! Certainly do-able.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mad DK Skillz

Originally uploaded by kbshee
One thing I like to do during the holiday break is to try a new knitting technique. I taught myself to knit a sock one holiday, to do entrelac another holiday...I think I skipped last holiday but I started the tradition again with teaching myself double knitting.

With double knitting, one basically knits a two-sided piece of for example, a scarf with the 'smooth' side of stockinette showing on both sides. One way to do this would be to knit two stockinette scarves and then sew them together. But I did it with double knitting.

Basically, you cast on with a two colors, alternating them (on this scarf, it is purple and pink). Then it is knit with color A, purl with color B across one row, and then knit with color B and then purl with color A back. After a few rows, the stitches arrange themselves so you can see that one side is purple and the other side is pink.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And the cool thing is that you do colorwork by changing up some of the stitches as you go along...where the purple bubble is seen is where I knit some of the pink knit stitches with purple, creating a pattern just like intarsia but it is reversible!

I didn't do a good job of explaining it, and in fact it is all kind of magical. I'm using Lucy Neatby's bubble scarf pattern ( here and apparently I forgot to do the ribbing at the start, oh well) and she explains the process very well.

Yarns: kauni effectgarn for one side, rowan calmer for the pink other side.

This one should be fun to watch. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lovely days

I've had two lovely days sitting on the sofa, knitting on Tim's sock, and reading a great book, "The Distant Hours" by Kate Morton.

Kate Morton is an Australian novelist who has written two other novels that are as wonderful as "The Distant Hours"..."The House at Riverton" and "The Forgotten Garden". I'm an anglophile, and the novels take place in large country houses (or in the case of "The Distant Hours" in a castle) in the english countryside, and in all the novels there is a bit of a mystery to be solved that involves someone in modern times doing some investigating into an earlier time (generally the ww2 era). The novels also focus on family relationships, good and bad, and what family really means. She writes just beautifully.

But I only have about 100 pages left, and I will be sad because I don't want this book to end! I haven't had a good novel for a while, and I'll miss this one when it is gone.

If you need a good curl-up-and-read book, find one by Kate Morton.

We've also had a few days without rain, so we've been out with the dogs and also went out to a brew pub with friends for dinner last night, so the days have been lovely all around.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quick Updates

1. Pilot finally showed interest in the tree, by taking down a ceramic Santa and chewing on it. Luckily it can be glued back together. Also luckily he has been avoiding the tree since then.
2. I went through my hated placemats and put them in the Goodwill bag. That felt good.
3. I've been working on current products for too long and I'm bored with them. Stay tuned for massive casting on.
4. Officially done with school for two weeks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Sock for Tim

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I have been knitting on this sock for a while, for Tim. The yarn is Crystal Palace something....probably Panda wool and the colors are nice and blended and these socks feel really good. I'm about to turn the heel on sock 2 so these will be done soon.

As I mentioned, the house is all Christmas-sy. You might recall that last Christmas, we were very worried about Pilot and the tree. To that end, we put up a low fence around the tree (that had previously served as our rabbit's outdoor pen) and he still nosed some of the lower down ornaments, but the season passed without incident. This year, he has not even seemed to notice that the tree exists. We hung some non-breakable and non-chewable ornaments down pretty far, but--nothing. The only issue we've had is that our little black cat, Stella, goes into the room at night and nibbles on branches.

We're very thankful that the rusty purple fence gets to stay outside getting rustier this holiday.

How do your pets react to trees and such?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Actual knitting content

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I've been playing around with mitered squares with the hopes of making placemats from the squares. And so I've knit up twelve of these squares, and made a surprising discovery.

Mitered squares? They're not really squares. They're really more like kites. So the challenge for me is to manhandle these into squares so the pieces actually line up.

So stay tuned for that.

We've had a Christmas-y weekend. We put the tree in the stand and Tim put lots and lots of lights on it. Still have the ornaments to go, but the lights are my favorites anyway. Yesterday I did a test run on pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. And right now Tim is working on the Christmas letter and I'm, um, blogging.

So Christmas is relatively under control at our house, at least for now. How are you?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gifts for Knitters

Yes, I've been a bad, bad blogger but I am just finishing up the term and things are a bit busy. There is a bit of knitting happening so stay tuned!

I thought I'd take a moment to share some thoughts on holiday gifts for knitters. Knitters love to get knitting stuff, but if you are NOT a knitter, how do you know what to get for the favorite knitter on your list? My hints: unless you have specific instructions, in writing, do NOT buy your knitter yarn or needles. Or honestly, even books on knitting (unless the books are out-of-print Alice Starmore books. And on second thought, just send those to me).

So what to get for your favorite knitter? Here are my thoughts:
-a knitting pattern-a-day calendar. I love these. Some have a pattern or a stitch on every day, and even if your knitter HATES half of the patterns, there is still a lot to like. Amazon has some .
-Puppy snips. My SIL had a pair this summer and they are adorable. And a knitter can always use a travel-sized pair of snips. If you live in the San Jose area check out Yarn Dogs (where said SIL works) or buy them online .
-stitch holders. I lose these a lot, and when you need them you need them, so having extras is always great. You can buy stitch holders anywhere: from low cost ones at Michaels to higher end ones at your local LYS.
--project bags. I used to think these were silly and now I love them. Della Q makes nice ones. Etsy also sells adorable handmade ones from a variety of sellers, including FlowerPie, KnitterBag, and RoseKnits.
--Chibi needles and needle holder. The cutest accessory holder and I love those needles for weaving in ends. And I lose them a lot, so having extras is a good thing.

So there you go. Happy shopping! And knitters out there....anything to add?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Nothing to see here, folks.

Yeah. No knitting here, did you notice? It was the last week of class this week, and right in the middle was a panel I organized and hosted in Portland (on FTC regulations for environmental marketing). And then I had full days on Thursday and Friday. But all that's left is a few hours of grading and an 8 am final on Tuesday and then a few weeks off to finish formatting a textbook and prepare a grant proposal and oh yeah, there's Christmas in there and


Our Oregon Ducks football team are going to the National Championship game! I'm so excited not only because they're my team, but one of the students in the advertising sequence is a starting offensive linesman and so my colleagues and I are all thrilled for him. (He's #77, Carson York, in case you need a player to root for in January).

I have one sock for Tim sort of done, and then there's my little pile of mitered squares that I need to do something with, but little knitting this week, but stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yet another pair

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Another pair of socks made from gosh-knows-what yarn. Not sure what else to say except they are black and purple and red and gold.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mittens Acomplished

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the Bella Mittens on Friday, and highly recommend this pattern since they knit up quickly and they look great, they are long and warm, and I think that they would make great gifts and seriously, you could knit these up in a day.

The yarn is Cascade 109...sadly discontinued as all good yarns are but you can still find some on ebay or on Ravelry. There are also probably other good bulky yarns out there that you could substitute.

The pattern is free, and I got in on Ravelry and it is also available at this blog:

Love them!

Friday, November 26, 2010


The new (Winter 2010) issue of Interweave Knits arrived on Wednesday. I read a lot of knitting magazines, and I'm eager to see what will happen with the 'stalwarts' (IK, Vogue Knitting, etc) now that there are interesting online options that offer pretty much the same (or same level) of designers (Knitty, Twist Collection) at different price structures. Like most traditional publications, both IK and VK seem to ignore these competitors and continue business as usual. How long will, and can, that last?

But I digress. Here is my summary of the new IK.

Winter IK: 144 pages, 27 patterns

The Good: Two of the 'stories' are to my liking: "Come Together" and "We Love Socks". "Come Together" features sweaters using two different but complimentary yarns. I particularly like the Galvanized Cardigan which uses Rowan Felted Tweed and Kidsilk Haze (both in my stash) and Ginerva's Pullover, which uses Malabrigo Twist and Lace. The sock patterns in the unimaginatively titled "We Love Socks" story include a nice twist on an argyle sock (the Art Deco Argyles) and two nice cable-type socks (the Alpha Socks and the Pavo Slipper Socks). Some of the striped sweaters in "Of a Different Stripe" are OK looking but nothing I would knit any type soon, but I'm not a big stripey person. I like the Gloucester Coat in "The Great Outdoors" section, except not in the burnt orange color shown and it takes about two dozen balls of Lion Brand Alpine Yarn, prices at about $6.50 for about 100 yards, which makes it a bit too pricey for me. Maybe in a less expensive yarn?

The Bad: The new cover design leaves a lot to be desired, as it shows part of a sweater and part of a face and neither looks that good. The cover titles seem a bit misleading (one of the lines is "sweaters to bust your stash', yet most of the sweaters use new yarns, so how does that work exactly?). I've never been a big fan of IK articles but one that recaps books we probably have all read about a gazillion times seems like a questionable article to include in the magazine.

The Ugly: the entire section called "The Country" features several designs that seem just sort of unwearable. I don't know what 'country' these would look good in, probably a foreign country where people would never see you again. Similarly, "The Great Outdoors" seems similarly misnamed as it features a Chanel-type houndstooth cardigan (in really big teeth, which is a bit loud for me) and a weird cape that seems more Sherlock Holmes that outside.

Overall rating: I'll probably knit 2 sweaters and at least two of the socks, and that makes this issue a good investment for me. I'd give it 4 out of 5 balls of yarn!

What did you think of it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I hope you have a nice, quiet (if you want), good-food-laden day.

We've never had any 'strong' traditions for Thanksgiving, since neither of us are really big turkey eaters and for several years in Eugene, Tim had to work on Friday. We've settled into a couple of traditions though: watching the Dog Show while the turkey smokes in the smoker outside. We're also having roasted root vegetables, poached pears, stuffing and gravy, and chocolate volcano cake for dessert. Definitely a bounty.

I've been playing around with mitered squares, using leftover stripey yarn, and I'll eventually stitch them all together into placemats that I may or may not felt. To do one of these 2 inch squares takes about 45 minutes, so it is a satisfying project.

And tomorrow, well what else to say but Go Ducks!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow Day! Not.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Usually this is how it goes here:

-the weather people start talking about snow about a week before it might happen.
-people spend a week all in a lather in case it snows.
-people are glued to the TV the night it is supposed to snow wondering if it will snow.
-it doesn't snow.

Well, it didn't go like that Monday night. Indeed it did snow...probably a whole HALF AN INCH with a little bit of crusty ice on top...and all the schools closed except. of course, the UO, where I held my 8:30 class Tuesday morning.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim took me in to is less than 2 miles away, with the first mile being fine and the second mile being pretty icey dicey. Unusually for Eugene, everyone was driving very slowly and carefully. At the start of my 8:30 class, about half the class was there, but the rest slowly drifted in which was pretty 930 I think I had 10 absences out of 110. Particularly remarkable since the class following mine...also 110 people, had only 25 in attendance!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seasons Eatings

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The holiday season at our house officially kicked off yesterday with Tim's birthday. I love Saturday birthdays...a whole day to celebrate, and celebrate we did with two of my favorite things: food and crafting.

We started off with breakfast and cards and presents, and then walked the dogs. We had dinner reservations, but hadn't decided about lunch. Tim's desire was a ceasar salad and a really good beer, so off we went to the Rogue brewpub (Eugene City Brewery) and did just that.

Then home, and while no Duck game yesterday there was the Cal-Stanford game (if Cal won, it would be automatic Rose Bowl for the Ducks. Alas. No such luck).

One of my gifts for Tim was a small (17") kayak model kit. It is getting a bit chilly out in the garage for him to work on the kayak, and I thought he might like more of an inside project. So he kayaked and I knit and we hung out

Then off to dinner at Osteria Sfizio: a new-ish Italian restaurant in Eugene. We had fried risotto balls and shellfish for appetizers, then rigatoni and steak followed by Pistachio and Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato. We brought a lot of it home...but it was great.

So a happy although calorie laden day to celebrate my sweetie's birthday.

I finally put together the fair isle bag. Please note the exquisite grommetry. Yes I made up that word.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yes, these are from the movie Twilight...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
...and I am 12.

What. Ever.

Yep, Bella's Mittens, although when she wore them in the movie Twilight they were dark grey. I think the cable is called a horseshoe cable.

I need warm mittens, and I like these. They're made with Cascade 109 which is a nice, soft chunky yarn and it knits up really quickly.

So yeah. Bella's Mittens. Sue me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sweater back

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've started the raglan decreases for the back of this sweater so I think I'm moving forward with this.

I have to say, though, I have a hankering to knit little things that can be completed quickly. Like a placemat. Or a hat. Or maybe some mittens knit out of thick yarn.

Is it just that time of the year?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

As the sweater grows

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I trade off in the evenings, knitting either on this sweater or the other pink sweater. The other sweaters seems to be progressing much more quickly, but this one is going pretty well. You can see the cable designs and if you really look closely you'll see where I screwed something up but never mind about that.

It has been a wet weekend, with not much going on except watching football for most of the day yesterday (ugly win, but a win all the same for my Ducks). I also started Bill Bryson's book "At Home" which is really interesting...he is such a good writer, plus for an anglophile like me it is like wallowing in absolute britishness.

How are you?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday 4pm

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm lying on the sofa, pretty much brain dead from week 7. But. Next week is week 8, the week after that is Thanksgiving week and the week after that is Week 10, the last week of classes and also known as Dead Week for absolutely no good reason. So the end is near, my friends, the end is near!

Things are nuts at work: besides my classes, I'm on a search committee, plus every other committee is trying to get meetings in during week 8 because no one will meet week 9 and 10. And I'm also organizing an event for Week 10 and I've been telling myself I have plenty of time but, um, I don't.

In the meanwhile, a sock.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Putting my Mind to It

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm one of those people who tend to be busy, and to sometimes let that busy-ness overwhelm me a lot. A. Lot. In not very pleasant or endearing ways. I find, though, when I focus on something I can really, really focus, and if I get to that place I can get a lot done.

One problem is that when I'm at my job, I get interrupted constantly. If I get ten minutes to focus, I'm lucky.

And that is why this term has been hard...I have commitments on campus four out of five days, and I'm pretty burnt out at the end of those days. Wednesdays are my 'writing' days, and I've been working to protect them.

Today it paid off. I finished my share of a book, I finished a chapter of another book, I wrote a midterm, and I caught up on other things that needed catching up on. I feel good about all of this.

I also focused on this hat for Tim--it knit up very fast and looks great. The yarn is Crystal Palace Taos which is this sort of funky barberpole plied yarn that ended up in these pretty neat looking stripes.

Focus=good. Got to get me some more of that.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Cable Grows

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is the OTHER sweater that I'm working on, with its pretty Celtic-inspired cable knit in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, which I think was invented to use on cabled knits. The cables pop really nicely. And the wool isn't really silky, in the slippery way we think silk might be, so it is very easy to work with. Plus, it is kind of a sticky yarn so if you drop a stitch it doesn't fall down all the way.

Yesterday was spent knitting and watching the Ducks win in a pretty nerve-wracking game (that is, until the fourth quarter, when hello! The Ducks finally showed up to play). Then we enjoyed that extra hour of time with, what else, sleeping.

How did you celebrate?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Falling Back!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love this EXTRA HOUR of sleep which I truly need. I had trouble sleeping this week, and finally last night I had blissful blissful slip and tonight I have the opportunity for an EXTRA hour!

How excited am I?

Anyway, knitting has progressed this week. Here is the one sweater rom the Inspired Cable Knits's pretty and I like the pretzel type cable. The color is brighter than this, but if I take a picture with the flash then the cable gets washed out.

How will you celebrate this day? And...Go Ducks!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee


Originally uploaded by kbshee

I got it in my head on a chilly day to knit Tim a pair of mitts to wear when he is out in the garage working on the kayak in the winter. However, I wanted to be able to felt them, to make them a bit warmer and more durable. I searched around a bit for a pattern, and then blended a few to make my own. Here are the steps:

1. Knit tiny little finger openings flat.
2. Seam them together into little tubes (yes, I could have done this in the round. I hate little twee in the round knitting though).
3. Pick up stitches so that the four finger openings are in a circle.
4. Knit a bunch of rounds.
5. Add the thumb.
6. Knit a bunch of rounds, decreasing for the thumb gusset.
7. Start the cuff in a 3x3 rib and knit a bunch of rounds of that.
8. Decrease to a 2x2 rib.
9. Bind off.
10. Felt

I used the same Cascade 220 from my nordic purse and the yarn felted beautifully (I do believe Cascade 220 is the best felter yarn that I've used). They look good and Tim likes them (although he has only tried them on wet).

Monday, November 01, 2010

If ends would only...

Originally uploaded by kbshee
weave themselves in.

Wouldn't that be great? I love to knit, but there are a lot of finishing tasks that I just don't like. So having magic self-weaving-in ends (as well as self-setting-in sleeves) would be so wonderful! What is your magic knitting wish? Why do I sound like a first grade teacher today?

Here are the placemats...they need another good block and then they'll be ready to be placemats, albeit I know I need to weave in those ends.

I spent yesterday doing...what? Being lazy in the morning. Friends brought kids by. Cleaned leaves off of steps. Read a bit. Looking at the online Knitters (I don't like that magazine program, zinio or whatever). Passed out candy to the three kids who came by. Admired pumpkins. Went to sleep. AND working on Tim's felted mitts. They should be done by the end of the day today and ready to felt! Yay!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or Blessed Samhain, if you lean that way.

Speaking of leaning, my cat head pumpkin is definitely leaning...but I still like it anyway. I've never been a big supporter of 'embellished' pumpkins...I guess I'm a bit of a purist...but for whatever reason I wanted to do a cat head. Maybe it was to match Tim's pumpkin, which is a frog head and looks great (I'll have to find a picture of it to put up here).

Yesterday was spent working on the bag (thank goodness for that tape that melts yarn together, as I don't think we have a sewing needle in the house). I re-blocked the bag so it isn't (hopefully) so floppy!

Last night I cast on for the mitts for Tim, and spent most of the UO-USC game working on them. I majorly modified a pattern I found online (I hate working fingers in the round) so when I finish these, I might write out the pattern.

Today a blue Stegosaurus and a pink Witch came to visit...and we lived to tell the tale!

Hope it is a wonderfully spooky day for you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another busy week

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Sorry for the lack of posts, but it has been another busy week. Let's just assume the second half of the term (ie the next five weeks) are going to be just as busy and I'll stop apologizing.

A gloomy day today here in Eugene...a good day to work on finishing the fair isle bag. Today I sewed the bottom and the side seam, attaching a D ring. I also used this red felt fabric to 'sew' a lining (thank goodness I found that iron on seaming stuff in the closet today, or else I would still be trying to thread a sewing needle). But now I'm trying to shrink the bag down a bit because it is floppy. I cut out a circle of rubberish stuff that Tim found in the garage for the base of the bag.

Once the bag is dry, in goes the lining, on go the grommets (I know own a grommetizer) and voila, it will be done.

I have a lot of yarn left over, and Tim has been working out in the garage on the kayak so I'm going to make him some felted fingerless gloves. It gets chilly out there. Right now he's working with the kiln set on low and that's helping.

What's up with you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Sweater

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I cast on for this sweater from "Inspired Cable Knits"...if you have that book it is the one in sort of a cloudy blue color.

The close up isn't even one repeat of the cable pattern. You see three columns of twisty cables...there are three of those three-column sets. Between each of them is the the cable pattern that you see the looks right now like a 'W' but it's more of an oval with a cable in the middle.

The recommended yarn is Mission Falls wool (17 balls!) which isn't happening. I found a substitute on Elann which is the same gauge and 100% wool and the same yardage, only it is a single ply rather than a plied yarn like MF. And it was something like $2.50 a ball. yay Elann!

I also want to knit thick cozy mittens as I have the not-unexpected wintry visions in my head, and have to keep reminding myself that winter is Oregon means it is 40 degrees. But we'll see.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Start of a Sweater

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I've given in to my startitis and have decided that hey, if I want to have ten, no twelve, no twenty projects on the needles then damn it, I will!

Aren't I a rebel?

Anyway, I have two cable sweaters that I've started this week: both pinkish, both from Inspired Cable Knits. This first one is a hoody with a zipper, and this is the bank. I'm using Lavold Silky Wool that I know I got on sale somewhere. It is a nice yarn, not very soft, but the cables show up well. And this is Pilot's favorite yarn. He digs through the knitting bag to get it out and then he enjoys running around the house with it. So charming, that dog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Almost a placemat

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I have one row and a bind off before this first placemat is finished, but thought you'd like to see it anyway.

The yarn is Artful Yarns Fable-the blue part is done in linen stitch and the border is done in garter stitch. Obviously two different colors. I'm very pleased and these will look great with our cream colored dishes.

So now I have almost one placemat I don't hate.

Today Tim and I went to our favorite Indian restaurant for their buffet (and yes, even in a small town like Eugene we have more than one Indian restaurant...I think we might have 4). Afterwards we went to buy pumpkins. I picked out one that was placed a bit far away from the other pumpkins so I couldn't really tell how bit it was. Well, it was 29 pounds. So that should provide some carving fun.

I'm in a cast-on-a-bunch-of-sweaters-and-knit-on-them mood. I have started one sweater from the book "Inspired Cable Knits" and you know what? It really is inspiring because I think I'm going to HAVE to cast on another one from the book too.

How is your weekend? Is it raining?

Friday, October 22, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
Very little knitting has been done this week, so I apologize. Here is a sock that has been in progress for a while. I wish I could tell you a bit about this sock but other than I am knitting it, there is nothing to say.

So a busy week. Monday night I went to a conference in San Fran that was OK. Came back Wednesday and was exhausted, and then had a busy day yesterday and a three hour class today.

Why, oh why, did I think a three hour graduate level seminar would be an ok thing to do?

But. All the notions for my bag are here and if the weather is as rainy as the weather prognosticators promise, I'll have time to work on that and finish it. Plus a pile of books to read from the library is also in the house. Plus hanging with Tim. Oh how I look forward to it all!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Almost a bag

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So I finished up the knitting part of the Debbie Bliss backpack bag like thing....I think it looks good and for a pretty firm non-colorwork knitter, I think i did a pretty good job. It's pretty huge, I must say, and I'm not sure what I will use it for just yet because, let's face it, there is much to do.

I ordered a yard of fabric to line it and I also had to order a bunch of other notions: cord, cord stoppers, a d ring, some tape to attach the d ring. I can't sew it up til the notions arive, so for now I just enjoy it (and to be honest, the pictures are better looking that the real thing, I think because I can see them at a distance).

The yarns were four different colors of Cascade 220, which I need to use a lot more often given the price and the softness.

I'm off to San Francisco the first part of this week for a Green Business Forum--should be interesting but it makes returning crazy since Thursday and Friday are my busiest days. But all will be well. I need to focus more on the positiveness!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shoot! Thursday Already!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Where did this week go?

Where is OCTOBER going?

I just want to dig in my heels and yell 'slow down', don't you?

Anyway. Look but please don't look too hard because the excitement might be overwhelming. Here is a placemat...well, almost a placemat. i'm going to do a border of garter stitch in a cream colored yarn...from the same line as the main yarn, so there are some bits and bobs of color in there too.

Life is nutty but hopefully after next week it will slow down.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting There

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing wrong, but Flickr and Blogger seem to be conspiring to publish my posts before I am ready for them to be published.

So I'm trying (again) with this one, which is the fair isle bag which is actually getting somewhere near completion. It looks pretty good, in my opinion, even though I know my technique is lacking. But it is fun and even a big...dare I say...Christmas-y which we all need in October, don't we?

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
This ALMOST captures the brilliance of the colors in these socks. Look closely at the green and you can see it kind of glow.

The weekend was our first rainy weekend (hello, winter!) and we spent it watching the Ducks win a sorta nailbiter (they won 43-23 and now are #2~ Go Ducks!). I also spent much of the weekend reading the new book by Ken Follett--Fall of Giants. It was great. It covers World War 1 which isn't an era I am particularly interested in but I really enjoyed the book. I think I have to read some of his older books now.

What's up with you?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Things that are apparently too much to ask for

1. Tights that stay up.
2. A sock drawer that stays organized and doesn't discombobulate all on its own.
3. That people were generous enough that we wouldn't have to have public radio pledge drives.
4. Internets that stay working.
5. Size 1 needles that don't get all bendy just because I can get a little aggressive when I knit a sock.

Friday, October 08, 2010

And I try again

Originally uploaded by kbshee

For the life of me, I can NOT get a good picture of the intense colors of this sock. It's frustrating to me! The pink and green are so acid=y, and they pop so well against the black.
Oh well. I guess we'll all survive.
End of week 2 with a 3-hour class followed by a 2 hour meeting. Good times. I'm rewarding myself with a few chapters of the new Ken Follett book and more knitting on this sock.
Pilot has his annual physical (yes! he's been with us almost a year) and he's gained 12 pounds since he came home. Yeee! So he and Juneau both are on puppy diets.
We are supposed to get a blast of fall this weekend with some cool rainy weather, which I'm actually looking forward to. Is it still summer where you are?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Marching Mooses

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Or are they Roaming Reindeer? I can't really tell.

I haven't worked on this bag for a while...i've been sort of tired and tense at night (hello, job!) and then yesterday was spent trying to get my old old Mac up to speed so I could get my new iPad working (and yes, it is very fun).

But this bag seems to be gong well and the fair isle is good about 90% of the time...I thought I was a loose knitter (insert your smutty comment here) but I think I'm actually kind of a tight knitter (oh don't even go there).

I want to get back to it tonight...we'll see...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Knitting Things I Don't Want

Just in case you were doing a little early Christmas shopping.

1. Please don't get me the CD "Music for Passionate Knitters." I think I can figure out the music I like to knit by all by myself.
2. That beaded yarn with little skulls in it that costs something like $80 for 80 yards. I don't like skulls, so the wonderfulness is wasted on me. And I don't like Hello Kitty beaded yarn either.
3. A Knit Kit. I know they are all the rage but the individual components would just get spread out and then chewed up by Pilot, and we don't need that.
4. The book "Cowl Girls". I look horrible in a cowl. And the title just sort of makes me cringe. I'm sure it is a lovely book and full of lovely patterns for lovely people who don't look like dorks in cowls. That is, not me.
5. Anything having to do with gnomes.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

1 down...

9 to go.
Weeks that is.
I haven't been knitting a lot, so not a lot to show...but I'm starting to get into a routine which always takes me a while.

The week was busy with reuniting with returning students, meetings, catching up on gossip, and then going out Friday night for a great dinner with our friends Steve and Jen at Belly. Not for vegetarias. Hence the name.

I promise some picks this week though!

Friday, October 01, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I got home from work at about 3:30 yesterday and Tim says "oh by the way, the Internet and the cable are out."

The Internet. And cable. Are out.

Six horrifying words, yes?

Apparently a dump truck backed out of a driveway with its dumper part in the dumping it was quite a bit higher than usual. And it tore down the wires providing internet and cable to a big swath of my city.

Including me.

At 3:30am I woke up fretting. The Internet! The Cable! What if it isn't back by Saturday for the Stanford game! What about PROJECT RUNWAY?? And I got up and wonder of wonders, it was back.

So all is well in the world.

The fair isle bag is going well, although I do tend to pull a bit tightly sometimes. But my moose looks good. Or. My reindeer looks good. Which is it? Moose or Reindeer? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Open Letter to Online Yarn Stores

Dear Online Yarn Stores,

I love you. I really do.

You like to write to me, and I do appreciate that. I especially like it when you write to me about sales. So keep that up!

What I don't like, dear Online Yarn Stores, is when you write to me about sales and then I go to your Web Sites and find that you have one or two balls of sweater-type yarn left. I don't know how many you had when you started the sale, but often I click on the email the minute....the arrives in my email box and you have little dribs and drabs of great yarn for sale that I do me no good.

I think it is great you have a good sale on these dribs and drabs (or is it dribs and dabs...or dibs and drabs....but I digress) but I think you are doing a big of a disservice to email me telling me what a great sale this is when, honestly Online Yarn Stores, it really isn't.

But you know that, don't you?

And you know that no matter what you do, I'll keep coming back.

Or will I?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Placemats etc

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So back into the swing of things at school and think I can do this. "This" meaning taking care of all my obligations, including getting the books I'm working on finished.

Mondays I have office hours and a 2 hour Faculty Advisory Council meeting...FAC is a group that advises the President and Provost of the University. It's an interesting group of people and the discussion yesterday was enlightening. I am always fascinated to understand the workings of a University.

Tuesday I have class at 8:30 and then I plan the rest of the day for writing, and Wednesday looks like a clear writing day.

Thursday I have class, a meeting of the Green Product Design Network, and office hours, and class from 9-12 on Friday. So I just realized I have just about every afternoon free so that makes me feel a bit more in control, and I know I can get everything done.

So what am I doing with my writing time? Um, writing. A blog. Oh well.

I like these placemats, although I do tend to screw up the pattern every so often. I keep reminding myself that there will be plates on top of them so it won't matter.

How is your week?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Retina searing sock yarn

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Good morning! We stayed up way too late last night watching the Ducks game. Instead of the usual "Ducks lead by gazillion at the half", the game was actually close and good (if you think of countless fumbles and penalties as good). So yeah, up late.

And it was so close, I really couldn't knit and watch at the same time.

But I do have this's in really, really neon colors that don't get captured well on my digital camera, by a new (for me) dyer called Red Bike or Red Trike or something (off to google right now, please hold).

OK, it is Little Red Bicycle and here is the etsy shop:

Little Red Bicycle . Nice yarn, nice colors. This is the 'cupcake sock' yarn that I"m using, and it feels great.

What are you doing today?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Halfway through the Moose

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Original blog post title: In which I find out I don't suck at fair isle.

I've done some fair isle before, and I thought I wasn't good at it. I'm a little clumsy with working with two different colors of yarn, and it all tends to turn into a tight, tangled mess that isn't pretty.

But I seem to be progressing all right with this fair isle bag, from the new Debbie Bliss magazine. I'm using Cascade 220 which I haven't worked with for a long time, it really is a lovely and affordable yarn. This bag is knit flat (yes, I'm doing fair isle AND purling at the same time, you may bow down before me) and that red hunk at the bottom will turn into the flat circular bottom of the bag at some future date.

I'm about halfway through the moose, as you might imagie those black spindly legs to be.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things Annoying Me Lately

I do have knitting to show you, I do, I do, but that will be tomorrow. It has been an annoying week. Here are things that are annoying me:

1. Vogue Knitting. Never got the Fall issue. They said they resent and that it would take 2-3 weeks since apparently they send it via slug. Replacement issue did not come after 3 weeks. Contacted them again, and they send they would re-resend, and it would arrive in 2-3 weeks. I told them that after 2 missed mailings, they should expedite it to me. No response. Thanks VK! Love ya!

2. People in Parking Lots who think that lane lines are just mere suggestions. The lot at our grocery has lines that are about as close together as they can get...and most people with ginormous SUVs just ignore them, taking up two spaces or (even worse) going about 3 inches over the line so every other vehicle has to go over the line.

3. The student who on the second floor of my building asked how to get to the third floor. I asked "how did you get to the second floor." She said "the stai--oh." I shouldn't get annoyed but this is a COLLEGE student. Who was not staring at her cell phone.

4. That stupid, stupid mythos sweater which just sits in its bag and taunts me. It taunts me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to Reality

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Orientation week this week, and I've been busy getting people oriented.


Anyway...finished those Crazy Zauberball socks. I like them. Not much else to say that hasn't been already said.

Still very annoyed and scared at Mythos. I should have known seaming a sweater knit in laceweight on bigger needles had Bad Day written all over it.

But on the happy side, I seem to be doing OK with the fair isle bag.

Monday, September 20, 2010


While I was trying to put Mythos together yesterday, I:
-did kitchener stitch on the back seam too tightly, and when I gently tugged to loosen it up, the yarn broke and so the two pieces unseamed.
-if that is a word.
-and then, I noticed that there were dropped stitched on the shoulders.
-and now I'm scared to look at it any more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blocking Mythos

Originally uploaded by kbshee
So just like that the Mythos sweater is done and blocking.

"Just like that" ha! This came out in the last knitty and I've been working on it since. What you see here is half the sweater (the other half is beneath the two halves are blocked in mirror images so that I can make sure they are the same size). At the top is the you can see half of the back. The part in the middle going out to the left is one sleeve, and the bottom part is the front. So I have to graft the back, sew the side seams, and sew the sleeve seams. And then do the attached icord. And then block it again. And then hopefully wear it.

Between the 3:15 start of the Ducks game and general stupor on the sofa last night, I got a lot of knitting done yesterday. Finished and blocked this sweater, then did some work on the placemat, then started on a new project (the Debbie Bliss Rialto Deer Duffel Bag: here is a picture: and a pair of socks in acid pink, green and black yarn.

And the rain is here, a good month early, but that doesn't hurt the knitting, does it?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just Beachy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
We are back from a few days in Pacific City, our favorite place on the Oregon Coast.

Oregonians tend to have 'their' favorite place on the coast, and PC has been ours for about 7 or 8 years. We just love the beautiful haystack rock, Cape Kiwanda, and the surrounding areas. This year we rented a tiny little house (read: shack) that had two things going for it. First, it was right on the beach...this is the view from the front of the house. Second, it was about a three minute walk from the Pelican Brew Pub, and about a four minute walk from a really good coffee place.

The weather was um, interesting: warm but rainy with bits of wind. We got a good paddle in on Wednesday at Nehalem Bay...we put in at a little town called Wheeler. Thursday was pretty rainy all day but Tim did a little paddle in the ocean while I stayed home all cozy with the dogs and read "Wolf Hall" and knit a little.

The house is one of those old houses probably built in the 40s or 50s that really needs tearing down and rebuilding, but luckily it still stands and is a pretty affordable rental for a house right on the beach. The floors were brick...yes, just like a patio...with rugs on it. There was a HUGE fireplace which we enjoyed, as well as an 80s era projection television where we watched tapes (yes!) of old movies, including "The Wild One" and "Sometimes a Great Notion", which was filmed nearby-ish.

The dogs had fun too, although it took Pilot a while to settle down and figure things out.

Now back to reality...orientation week next week and then classes begin a week from Monday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Placemat Project

Originally uploaded by kbshee
As I mentioned, the first of many, many placemats is on the needles.

This is a cotton blend that is no longer made, but I had some in my stash. I think it is made by Artful Fibers or artful yarns and has some fairy tale name to it. Anyway. It should be perfect for placemats.

I'm using one of my favorite stitch patterns: the linen stitch. If you need a guaranteed-flat piece of knitting,for say placemats or a shawl, this is the stitch pattern for you:

Row 1 (RS): k1, *sl1 wyif, k1; rep from *
Row 2: k1, p1, *sl1 wyib, p1; rep from *, end k1

You need an odd number of stitches, by the way.

We are off to the coast for a few days...back on Friday. No Internets. Rain promised.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zauberball Crazy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I saw a sock made out of this yarn (Zauberball Crazy) and I thought "ooh, I need to get me some of that yarn" (actually, I thought it in a grammatically appropriate way). So I did.

And I knit a sock.

And I realized that I 1. either have done socks in this yarn before or else 2. this yarn is exactly like another yarn that I've done a sock in.

I like it though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Atom!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I spun some of Atom's fleece yesterday, and it turned out well.

As I mentioned, I ordered some wool to blend in with Atom's fleece to make it more elastic...alpaca is fairly unelastic, which means it may stretch out a bit: not a big problem for a sweater but a bit of a problem for a hat. Wool from sheep is much more elastic. What I didn't realize is that different wools have different elasticities....and the glossier the wool, the less elastic. So the first go-round of blending, with a very lustrous wool, really did nothing for the yarn. In fact, carding it was like carding cotton candy so I should have known it was going to be a bit of a problem.

I have some Targhee which is supposed to be very elastic, and so that will be my next blending exeriment.

The two hanks on the right are two ply, and they are pretty well balanced, which is good. The little one on the left is a three ply done with a navajo play just to use up the bits at the end of the spinning bobbin, and that is even more balanced (which suggests basically that my singles were highly energized, or to say another way, too twisty).

I also cast on yesterday for my Great Placemat Project since as you know, I HATE all my placemats and am going to knit all new ones. THis should use up a lot of yarn and make me happy in the mix.

I also want to cast on for another sweater but am knitting busily on Mythos to try to finish that up first. Luckily football season is here...and factor in a rain delay like with the Duck-Vol game, that gives one plenty of knitting time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mystery Solved

You may have noticed I changed my template a few days ago...apparently when you do that, you (meaning of course me) wipe out the google analytics code and must reinstall it.

Which is not a simple procedure...oh, the copy/paste thing is easy enough, but the knowing what, and where, to copy/paste is the challenge (at least to me, at least in my brief perusal of the GA website).

But. I think I'm back to normal. Whatever that may be.

Today: Oregon vs. current team vs. my former team. Go Ducks!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rant Update

Apparently, it does indeed take five working days for someone to put patterns in an envelope and send them out. Because I got the notification today that whee! They were on their way.

I'm still flummoxed by this (and am a bit proud of myself for using the word flummoxed).

Thursday, September 09, 2010

And more Little Pink Sock

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Thanks to those who posted a comment with a hello...Google Analytics is still showing that no one visits so I need to stop looking at that, now that I know there are real people out there reading this!

Here is one last picture (for a while) of the LPS: this is the front. The ribbing is k2tb p1 and makes a very stretch and pretty ribbing. The sock as a whole is a pretty striking sock, I really like it.

And I've started on the second. The instructions read something like "make the second just like the first, or reverse the directions to have a matching sock." The second part of that statement made me first gasp and then giggle. This is a pattern where the foot chart takes up an entire 8x11 sheet of paper. While I'm a good knitter, and I can certainly read a pattern, I would never attempt to 'wing' reversing this chart in my head!

And more knitting is happening...the blue cardigan, a mindless sock, and of course the dozens of projects I want to start now that the weather is cooler.......

And placemats. I realized this morning I hate every placemat we have except for the cute Christmas ones I cross-stitched. So maybe I'll make some for us. Linen stitch or felted.