Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Yarn Wall

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Who doesn't struggle with storing the stash? In the many years that I've been knitting, the stash has grown from a drawer under the bed to giant baskets in the closet to several plastic bins. Last summer, I organized the sock yarn in a file cabinet. Yet it continued to grow and frankly, the stash was out of hand.

Enter the Yarn Wall.

Tim has been experimenting with the right way to build the yarn wall for a while. The last time we talked about it, it looked like it was going to be a combination of PVC pipe and wood joins that seemed a bit complex. Then he found these cubicle thingees on sale at Target a few weeks ago, and we bought three 3 x 3 units. Tim put them together pretty quickly and now a good portion of the stash is stored there. The yarn wall has numerous benefits:

1. I can easily see what color and how much yarn I have, and this has made me not want to buy any more yarn for a long, long time.
2. I can easily compare colors and textures and decide which yarns I really want to keep and which I can sell (which I'm doing right now on Ravelry)
3. It helps me figure out future projects.
4. If you're staying over in our guest room, it is just like living in a yarn shop.

Seriously. There is no better way to stop buying yarn that to have a yarn wall. Trust me on this.

It still has a way to go, both in terms of organizing the storage and figuring out what I want to sell, but so far the Yarn Wall is a hit with everyone. The cats aren't quite sure what to make of it, which is a good thing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just a sock

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This is the sock I was supposed to knit on the plane to Italy...but I ended up knitting maybe five rows that entire trip. I knew these socks would go pretty quickly and so they have...I'm on the cuff of the second sock and it should be done fairly quickly.

They're made with Jo Sharpe Silk Road Tweed which is discontinued now...I made a pair for Tim in dark blue and I envy these socks whenever I see him wearing them, so I hunted down some a while ago. They're thicker than most socks, but I don't mind that at all.

Yesterday was a busy day: long walk with dogs, followed by soccer (sad), followed by trip to the farmer's market and the plant store (lettuce and radishes and load of bread for dinner, lavender for the front yard), followed by planting of the plants, followed by "Pirate Radio". A good day. Except for the soccer part.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Knitting

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Well, I lied...I have three, count 'em three, wool sweaters on the needles. And I seriously can't deal with even touching them. We've changed from cool rainy weather to summer weather...and it isn't even that hot! I think yesterday the high was 82, which is manageable, but it is putting me off the wool knitting. Here are the sweaters I could be working on but I'm not:

1. A fairisle sweater. I have the fronts and backs and part of one sleeve done. Using a DK merino so it isn't that hot and sweaty, but just don't want to do it.

2. St Patricks from A Fine Fleece. I have the back done. I have not worked on this for so long I could hardly remember the name of the pattern (luckily it was dog eared in the book) and I also can't remember what size needles I was using. I'm knitting it in felted tweed.

3. A sweater that I started with rose Elsebeth Lavold wool that is about two rows done.

So instead? I cast on for a new pair of socks and a scarf.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The scarf is the Internet-Scarf-of-the-Moment called Eventide , which I saw on the Yarn Harlot's blog and being a sheep had to start knitting it as well. HEre's a close up. Basically, you knit six double yarnover stitches, and then on the next row you drop the yos and cross three stitches over another three stitches. It will make sense soon.

I'm using a cashmere yarn that I bought on Etsy eons ago that just recently came to light. Why did it come to light? Well, because my wonderful husband built me a yarn wall. Pics to come.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I owe you a better picture

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Because it looks like I just threw my completed Mr. Green Jeans on the floor and took a picture. I actually thought I had arranged it sort of nicely, silly silly me.

But I'll have plenty of opportunities to show you a picture of me wearing it. according to this recent update from the National Weather Service, and I quote from the KGW TV web site:

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Summer, cancelled? The National Weather Service's long-term forecast calls for a a cool and wet July, according to KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill.

What would a cool and wet July look like? Hill said that a worst-case forecast would include seven to 12 days with measurable rainfall, a lot of cloudy mornings, and up to 15 days with highs only in the 66-76 range.

Hill noted that the all-time record for July rainfall was 2.68 inches, set in 1983.

"If you look at a national temperature map, it's almost like we have become a separate continent," said Hill, "because literally everybody else in the lower United States is in a different season than we are. I mean, it really is just absolutely nuts!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished the pool socks, and you can see how they turned out. I took the photo with one of the socks on its 'tummy' so you could see the heal, which looks very cool compared to the rest of the sock.

I'm not thrilled with them, but it could be because they are dark socks and I'm ready for some lightness. Will it ever be summer here in the PacNW?

I'm in the process of finishing up some WIPs and planning ahead for summer projects. My to-do list, workwise, is somewhat out of control, with a July class that I'm teaching in Portland on the horizon as well as four book projects that need attention. But hopefully I'll have a bit more time for some reading and knitting this summer.

What are you summer plans?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bee Ess Gee

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I almost didn't go to the BSG (Black Sheep Gathering) because I really, really, don't need more yarn. Or fiber. But we had to get up early to get Tim on the road to a meeting in Corvallis, and after the soccer game it was 8:45 and BSG opens at 9 and oh well, there I went.

It was pretty full at opening time, with a huge clump of women at the BMFA booth...one woman, in fact, filling up a bag with mill ends and she said to her friend "I'll decide which ones I want later." And that sort of annoyed me, so I left that booth and wandered around.

I bought four skeins of yarn and a beautiful button from Michael and Sheila Ernst for Mr. Green Jeans cardigan that I WILL finish this weekend. It matches perfectly. From top to bottom, the yarns are:

-Huckleberry Knits 8 ply merino in the Soleil Colorway
-Fly Designs Flying Lace (BFL) in the Freemont Colorway
-Textiles A mano La Jolla Silk/Lace
-Textiles A mano La Perfecta Lace

I was so happy to meet Laura from Textiles a Mano...it is a new shop in Eugene but I've never made it over there. She's great...and I'm going to try to get an intern for her to promote her business (or maybe I'll do it myself). Her yarn is very very soft, just lovely.

So then I came home and watched soccer

If the weather stays cloudy, we'll probably go back to the Alpaca show and to see the sheep (Tim likes that part, the shopping part not so much). I was kind of surprised how much alpaca fiber was there...certainly the one thing I don't need right now!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ending and Beginning

School ended with a beautiful Commencement on Monday (we usually have it on Saturday, but the NCAA track and field championships were in Eugene so it got pushed back). The day started at 8:30: I volunteered to be a Marshall for the University ceremony and escorted a slew of Jschoolers into Hayward Field, where we walked through a giant O and then took a victory 'lap' around the track. That ceremony finished up around 11, and then I was off to find something to eat and drink before lining up for the J school ceremony at noon. It was cool but very sunny, and I have pink cheeks from being out in the sun!

So it is finally summer. It will be busy yet hopefully fun. I will be teaching a weekend class on two consecutive Saturdays in Portland on social media, and I have four book projects to work on (on what, you ask? Let's see. One on social media for small business, one a media planning textbook that's talking about social media, one on using the Internet for academic research, and one chapter on advertising theory).

I haven't really thought about what my summer knitting projects will be, and I kind of can't believe it. I do have two sweaters in the partway stage (partway for one means I think I have two rows knit) so I guess I'll get my ahead around those in the next few days. All I've been doing is stockinette socks and that's sort of all I wanted to do, but I guess it is ready to get into gear. I also need to process the four fleeces in the garage...that will happen much more sooner than later.

And Black Sheep Gathering is this weekend, and while I need no yarn, I can't imagine not going and not buying maybe a little something.

What's up for your summer?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How do you say 'mall' in Italian?

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Here is the last photo of Milan to share you with you....I wasn't sure what to expect when I read about the 'mall' in the main square of Milan (right by the Duomo, see below twinnie) but what it is is basically two streets that are perpendicular to each other, filled with restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, and covered in a roof glass....it must be from the Victorian era (but I'm not sure what the Victorian era was called in Italy).

This picture was taken standing in the middle of the intersection, looking up toward the glass dome of the glass roof (um, duh, Kim what other type of dome would a glass roof have?).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Milan

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I guess in retrospect, Milan itself is a very grey city (grey cobblestone streets, grey buildings that push right up on the sidewalk, grey sidewalks, conservatively dressed business people) punctuated by these bright bright bright bursts of color.

In front of the Duomo, on a windy Saturday morning that celebrated all types of Milan armed forces (pomp and circumstance and parades and men with swords/guns/bayonets etc), a baloon vendor sells her wares.

At least I think it is a she.
ETA linky to wikipedia entry about the Duomo for the good twinnie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More Milan

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I loved this window display of ceramics...some in beautiful colors, some in the greys and silvers that remind me of the cars in Milan!

We did spent some time wandering the Villa della Spigga area (look in your closet...I bet you have some Via Spigga pumps. I think they're named after this shopping street in Milan). There's an entire designer shop area where everyone we saw looked like someone famous until I started at them and realized they were staring at me trying to figure out if I was someone famous.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Milan

Originally uploaded by kbshee
The streets are, of course, old and cobblestoney as are the vast, vast majority of the buildings. The cards are teeny tiny. And cars in colors are just not seen that often...most of them are some variant of silver, black or grey.

And these parkers put 'chicago parking' to shame!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The food in Milan was, well, interesting (food meaning anything other than gelato, which was amazingly good).

My friend Charlie took my friend Emily and I out to lunch and wanted us to eat 'typical' Milanese food, so he ordered the Octopus appetizer. Which is basically octopus. Not deep fried, not covered in cheese, but pretty much steamed and/or blanched octopus.

With the suckers still on.

As seen on the fork.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

More Milan!

I think my Internets is going to run out in a bit but just a quick update. Milan is good...have had a lot of trouble sleeping but slept for eight hours last night (better sleeping through chemistry) and have had a terrific day today. Unfortunately the fun is over soon, as the alarm will go off at 3:30 am to get me to the airport for the good times that are return flights. Arrividerci!

AND every time I went out I forgot my yarn store list.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


I'm in Milan! It's a beautiful city and a beautiful day, and I've started running into people I know for the conference (which is a not=so=subtle reminder that I'm here to work, not to play). But my friend Emily and I had a good time wandering the city this afternoon, and we're about to go see 'The Last Supper" at the church next door (our 15 minutes of time with Jesus et al begins at 4:30).

The flight was a long and I had a bit of a misstep with KLM in Amsterdam, due in part to not understanding the procedure and part because of some bad information from a uniformed person. But I got here, and in one piece, and with luggage, so I can't complain that much.

More soon!