Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's just a sock


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
So, the first class day of the new term is over. I had 20 no shows and no excuse for skipping students the first day...out of 140...which is nuts. I emailed them telling them to drop the class, and a handful are fighting me. The biggest jerk is a guy who missed the 9:30 bus and thus missed class. Hello? 10:00 bus? Cab? Call a friend? Anyway, I think the class will settle down to a manageable number which is good.

One of the challengingist (not a word, I know) things about academia is that there's no 'transition time' from being off to being on. In my industry days, the first morning back from vacation was usually spent going through mail, dropping by people's offices with a cup of coffee and shooting the breeze...not so with academia. It's gogogo from the minute your feet set foot on the sacred soil of campus. Which never fails to throw me for a loop.

Speaking of feet (what a transition)...my mindless sock is seen here, a nice little sock knit in some gorgeous yarn, from Koigu...it's the Mori yarn, which is a wool/silk blend and really captures colors beautifully. I don't even recall where and when I got this yarn, but it is lovely to knit with, and I'm glad I dug it out of the closet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm so skewed


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
The last 24 hours have been...well...odd. Just odd. Let me just say, don't bring your digital stuff within a few hundred miles of me for it will be destroyed. Last night, my iPhone wouldn't communicate with iTunes. And a jump drive just acted bizarre...lots of space one moment, no space the next. And our Internet service was off and on, off and on. I think we have some type of digital ghost in our house. Just what we need.

And today has just been nonstop, with meetings, getting ready for class, reviewing a paper, listening to student excuses, and trying to get Survey Monkey to make sense.

And on top of this, Pilot has been burying his new favorite toys....these little rawhide rings...in the furniture. And then digging them up.

But anyway. The first skewed sock is done. I didn't think it would look quite like this (and my, what a big big toe I have) but I like how it looks. This was a fun knit mostly because I really didn't know what it would end up looking like. And certainly the pattern accomodates evil pooling very nicely. So I'm happy.

How are you?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

And just like that...


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
...spring break is over. Just one more day...today...and then back for the last ten weeks of the term. Only one class this term, so I have lots of writing projects planned. I am under contract as a co-author on three books, and I've done practically no writing this year, so I've got a lot on the plate. But summer is acumen in eventually I'm also teaching one class in Portland this summer (two Saturdays, not so bad).

The first Majestic sock is done...it is just beautiful. I'm quite pleased with it, and I'm enjoying knitting the second one as well. I've made quite a bit of headway on various projects this week,which at least makes me feel that something was accomplished. Plus, we went bowling on Friday, and I broke 100, so if that isn't an accomplishment I don't know what is.

I've also been going through all the piles of magazines and winnowing out...tearing out patterns when appropriate, but mostly tossing. I've also been developing quite a list of things I want to knit, which of course leads to serious startitis. I almost cast on for Alice Starmore's Elizabeth I yesterday (from Tudor Roses) and for Kathy Zimmerman's Dickinson Pullover but thought, quite wisely, that the five projects I had on the needles were plenty. But I ended up with a nice list of things I'd like to knit, along with where the pattern could be found and what yarn I'd use.

I know, I know, i can do that automatically on Ravelry, but I wont.

I'm trying to decide whether to invest in the IK DVDs that are out now. I think I have the actual magazines from 2004 on, and they take up a lot of space. I only want the patterns...I'm not that interested in holding on to the technique articles or the profiles of knit designers, so the pattern DVDs would be fine for me...but at $25 a pop for a year I wonder if it is really worth it. Maybe they'll go on sale some day. We'll see. Your thoughts?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bohus in the house


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
For a while, I was thinking this type of knitting is called Bauhaus and the title of this post would be "our house is a very very very bauhaus" but not so much, I guess.

So, I have finished 16 rows of the sweater sleeve of my bohus sweater. There are four colors in this, if you look carefully: grey, white, red and purple that is very close to the grey but I think you can tell the difference.

So I'm not as scared as I used to be with colorwork, although it isn't the zip-along-merrily-and-get-a-lot-of-knitting done technique that I enjoy so much.

So now I have, officially, four projects on the needles (this sweater, mindless socks, gold socks, skew socks) and I'm itching to cast on for a top down raglan using Summer Tweed AND a cable sweater.

Oh and there's another cable sweater that has the back done but nothing else.

And it's a dark and rainy day, so it might just happen!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kitteny Goodness


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I'm taking a little break in posting about knitting because today we took a little break and went over to the Oregon Coast for the day. We live about 50 miles inland from the coast, so we can get there fairly easily. However, our favorite place is about 100 miles from our house, a little town called Pacific City. So we buzzed over there for lunch at the Pelican Brew Pub, and then a pretty long trek up the beach to the point where the Nestucca Bay joins the Pacific Ocean.

So if you look at this map: here you can see Pacific City and we hiked from the entrance to Bob Straub south to where the bay meets the Ocean. And back again. The wind was blowing really hard from the south, which made the trek down a bit tough but the back easy as pie. After that, we went drove up to our property, fondly known as the blackberry patch, which is on a hill overlooking PC and the ocean. It's still there, good to know.

The 'name the sheep' contest continues, and Rachel suggested the names Stella or Stanley. I wanted to share a picture of our Stella. We've had her for what, seven years? She was abandoned in a ditch when she was two weeks old with serious head trauma. Our vet at the time chose not to euthanize her, and we chose to bring her home. At about 2 she started suffering seizures, and she's been on phenobarbital for about 4 years, and hasn't had a seizure now for a year. She's a bit of different cat, but aren't they all.

So keep the names coming!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And the week of fun and knitting continues


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Another cloudyish day today, which means, surprise surprise, more knitting. Pilot's dog class is tonight and I'm also having coffee with a colleague today so all in all a 'full' ish day for a spring break day.

This is the Skew pattern from knitty...and it is a sock, but it is knit in an interesting way so the whole sock ends up tilted. Confused? Yeah me too. Here's the whole pattern . It is a fun knit, I must say, just a little more complex than a mindless sock. The yarn is hmmm...I actually have no idea since I seem to have lost the label. But as you can see, it is blue and purple and orange, and is very bright and spring like. For a sock.

And you might have also noticed a little change to the blog. The little sheep is technically a dog toy that I bought on sale, but I don't have the heart to give it to Pilot since he will simply rip it to shreds. So I'm keeping it as a little mascot. I guess I should have a 'name the sheep' contest. So if you have a thought for the name of the sheep, leave it in the comments. Winner gets a prize. It will be yarn.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break: Day 3


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
I shouldn't even call this a Day 3 blog because I've only been awake for about an hour and a half and all I've done is do a crossword puzzle and drink coffee. But I wanted to share with you this top that is 'finished' in terms of the major knitting is done but obviously it still needs a wee bit of work.

Such as, seam it all together, and then knit some more around the neckline and bottom.

But this is a pattern from a new book published by Mission Falls (did you know Mags Kandis isn't designing for them? So now they have a bunch of different designers...I saw an ad for the pattern book in a magazine, had to make this top, but the rest of the book is sort of, um, blah). There's a cable in the center of both front and back, as well as on the little cap sleeves. It is a raglan design (which I love). The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (which is you might remember, I'm afraid will bleed). But we'll see.

This was a fun knit...not quite mindless but easy enough for television watching. I also finished one sleeve while reading a new book, "Angelology." If you're rolling your eyes right now, please stop. It's very well written, and contains my favorite technique: moving back and forth between present and past, and taking some received knowledge and blowing it up to bits. And nuns, which I find fascinating for some reason. It's a good spring break book.

Another wet and possibly gloomy day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break: Day 2


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
The beautiful sunny weather of yesterday turned into a pretty typical Oregon spring day today: mainly rain and clouds and a bit cooler but still pretty warm out for here.

I've been working on this project since Christmas, but haven't spoken of it on the blog? Why, you ask? Mostly because it is just a big old boring block of stockinette on small needles (size 3). For Christmas, I received the book "Swedish Knits" by Paula Hammerskog and Evan wincent, and started on the "Sweater from Bohusland" which is a plain sweater with a bohus pattern around the yoke. One knits the front, back, sleeves and then joins it all to do the bohus yoke.

You note that I toss around the word bohus like a. I was an expert in colorwork and b. I noticed it was bohus before I started. Well, I'm not and I didn't I just figured it was fair isle, which I've done oh, once or twice. But I thought it would be a good project to try...I certainly can physically do the fair isle work, although I'm not speedy and it may not look picture perfect. But again, I thought, i have the yarn (Rowan Botany, bought in dribs and drabs over the last six months since it is discontinued), I have the size 3 needles (yes, it is considered a legal form of insanity to knit a sweater on size 3 needles) and I have the will!

So then yesterday, as I was starting the first sleeve (and there's a little pattern design on the sleeve, which I'll show you later this week) I realized it wasn't fair isle, it was bohus. The difference, as far as I can tell: in a fair isle row, there are only two colors that alternate in a pretty little pattern. Good knitters (not me) can knit with one color in the right hand and the other in the left.

Bohus, on the other hand, has unlimited (ack!) colors per row). So far, I've worked on a three-color row and spying ahead, there's a four color row as well (there are only four colors in the pattern, so big sigh of relief there). Now, I can sort of do the fair isle one-color-per-hand technique, but I'm at a bit of a loss with where to find the third and fourth hands to do bohus.

Ideas? Suggestions? I'm just stumbling along trying to figure it out...results soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break: Day 1


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Officially on spring break: my grades are in, the syllabi for next term is done (and only needs about a dozen more copies printed...just got the class size increased) and the paper with a 4/1 deadline is just about done. Tim is done with classes too, and we're looking forward to a few days of being off from school.

In addition to the first day of spring break, it is just about the first day of spring and the birthday of my nephew Jason (who never reads this blog so I'm sure I won't be embarrassing him) and we had a beautiful day here in Oregon...mid 60s, blue skies. We took the dogs for a long walk in the hills at the Mt. Pisgah arboretum today and we all had a great time and got some much needed sun!

I've started it off with a bang by taking pictures of my WIPs and now will have plenty of blog fodder to share this week. This is the current state of Majestic. If you might recall, I can either take a picture that shows the yarn at its true color or take a picture that shows off the cables. This attempt has me wearing the sock on my arm and holding it in a sunbeam. I guess I could take it outside and shoot it but that would mean putting on shoes. And that's not on the agenda right now.

I have a pile of books to read, and I'm finishing "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. It is one of those books I should hate: a historical novel where all the characters talk just like you and me...when they're not busy having sex or killing each other. But I can't put it down. Not sure why.

So stay tuned for lots of springy fiber goodness this week!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shhhrrrprringgggg!


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
It's very spring-y in Oregon. In fact, driving home from lunch today I was singing "Spring is Busting Out All Over" and then embarassingly remembered the actual lyrics use the word June, not Spring.

Oh well. It still is.

We have tulips coming up in the front yard, all the trees are in flower, the daffodils are totally daffodilling, and the grape hyacinths are threatening to take over the world. The lilac trees are almost all leafed out. Even the red buds are reddy (ha ha) to bud! It's quite the spring festival here.

And of course, the mild weather of January and February has gone back to winter cold but it's still pretty nice.

I was reminded this is spring forward today and to celebrate: a meme.

What are your current obsessions?

Teaching Pilot to sit and lay down/cables/brownies

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Which item from your wardrobe do you wear the most often?

Purple cashmere sweater.

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What’s for dinner?

Popcorn and ice cream. Hey, it's Saturday!

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What is your greatest fear at the moment?

Would rather not say, thank you.

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What are you listening to?

A story on NPR about a band named Frightened Rabbit.

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If you were a god/goddess what would you be?

The Goddess of Alpacas.

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What is your favourite holiday?

Well, since this is obviously a British meme, let's say Boxing Day! And my birthday.



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What are your guilty pleasures?

Brownies/Chocolate in General/Sock yarn

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Who or what makes you laugh?

Tim/Pilot/The Office

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What is your favourite spring thing to do?

Hmm. Spring in Oregon is pretty much like Winter and fall in Oregon. So I guess...enjoy the flowers while walking the dogs.

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Where are you planning to travel next?

To Pacific City during Spring break.

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What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?

A really good slice of pizza and a Caesar Salad at Mezza Luna yesterday.

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Who was your first ever crush?

Ethan Cruvant. And he was named that before Ethan was at all popular.

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What is you favourite ever film?

The Player.

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What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from your kids?

I don't have kids, but the biggest life lesson I've learned from the dogs is "this is why you don't have kids."

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What song can’t you get out of your head?

"Evacuate the Dance Floor."

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

Ulysses.

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What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?

I have horrible eyesight, and my nose isn't straight.

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What is your favourite color?

Agree with my good twin Kim .

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things that are hard to photograph


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
1. Cables
2. Stockinette when it is all rolly.
3. A little raglan sleeve
4. A nice dusty blue

But all those things go into making up this little summer top. Which I like a lot. it's going quite quickly too.

Classes are over! My winter term classes, that is...Pilot's classes continue. Next week is final's week, and my students turn in work on Wednesday and Thursday, so i have a few moments to breathe!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Start of a top


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is...officially....my first intarsia project.

I don't really care for busy sweaters on me, so I'm not a big intarsia fan. But I saw this little top in a Mission Falls ad and wanted to try it. Basically, it is a solid color top with a white braid down the center of the front, the back and both short sleeves. It uses three balls of yarn...two blues on either side and a cream colored in the middle.

The yarn is Cotton Fleece and now I'm afraid the blues will bleed, but such is life. I finished the back last night so as soon as I have a picture I'll post it.

It is the last week of the term and so far have spent two days listening to presentations, wtih two more days to come. I'm not that good at sitting and listening. I can do it for a bit, but then feel completely wrung out afterwards. Hmm. Do you?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Majestic


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is the first project from My Own Private Sock Club: the Majestic Sock! THe pattern is by Elizabeth Warner and the yarn is Zen Yarn Company, and the pattern is a really cool cable that was inspired by Cleopatra.

All in all, a very fun knit. The cable chart is printed REALLY BIG and that makes the cabling less intimidating. And the yarn is gorgeous too.

The construction of the heel is inspired by Cat Bhordi's new book, so i'm looking forward to trying that technique as well.

I love this sock.

I'm not a big Gold person, though i don't know why...I have no gold socks. It must be because I'm an official Color Me Beautiful Spring, and the autumnal gold is a no-no. But hey, it won't be the first time I've broken those CMB rules!

Did you do Color Me Beautiful? What season are you?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Don't Mess with Me..


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Originally uploaded by kbshee
..because I was the star of puppy school last night.

Maybe it is the effort my parents are putting into training me, maybe it is the raw lamb treats of the instructor, but I was practically perfect in every way last night. The other parents at class even said 'awww' when I obeyed commands.

If you need consults for your own dogs, please let me know. I aim to please.

Yours truly,

Pilot