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.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Little Pink Sock pt 3

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Thoughts for today:

1. Pink is hard to photograph as purple.

2. These socks are really fun to knit.

3. Yes, the bow is twee. Twee and cute.

4. I set one work goal for today and finished it before 9am. Pretty proud of myself (although it was a pretty small goal) and so now am going to card and spin and knit.

5. And read Tim Gunn's new book.

6. Google analytics says no one has visited my blog for three days. I think they're wrong. If you feel like it, please leave a 'hi' comment so I can sleep easier tonight (overstatement, obviously).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Festival of Handspun

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Sort of a sad little festival, but a festival nevertheless.

I plied the rest of the single plies I had on the spindles today (top) and am excited for my next project...adventures in fiber blending! I ordered some different types of silk from Treenway fibers to blend with the rest of Brownie's fleece to do some experimenting. Stay tuned for even more poorly photographed dark yarn.

In the middle, some Navjo plied red and white fleece that I have a don of...the navajo plying makes this look a bit tweedish, with the red color dominant and (if you look close) bits of white.

And at the bottom, more navajo plied mystery fiber in shades of blue and tan.

Monday, September 06, 2010

More Little Pink Sock

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This time...the back!

The back is just as adorable as the front (the back is being modeled here by myhand). Once the cross in the back is made, a great ribbing is's two stitches ktb and one purl.

The safety pin is holding four stitches, which will turn into two i-cords about 4 inches long which will be tied in a little bow in the back. That might just be a bit too twee for me, except for the girly pinkyness of these socks.

I'll finish the first one today! That's how I roll on Labor Day!

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Originally uploaded by kbshee
One of my readers made a good point regarding my rant...paper patterns cut down on any potential copyright infringement. I hadn't thought of that, and it is a fair argument. However, so many companies are doing PDFs now, that I think many knitters just expect it. It may not be right, but it is the way it is. And now, onto fiber stuff.

I started carding Atom's fleece this afternoon...I was a bit apprehensive starting because it is white fleece, and I was worried that it would be a bit dirty and have a lot of vm (vegetable matter) in it. So what a surprise it was to learn that Atom is quite a well behaved young man..the fleece was almost pristine. The locks are long and needed just a bit of opening up at the tip before they went into the carder.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I didn't card that much, and what I did card I rolled up into little mini-batts. Alpaca is wonderfully soft but not nearly as elastic as sheep wool, so alpaca yarn can end up stretching out a bit. I was reading the great book "Color In Spinning" by Deb Menz and she recommends adding some wool in to add shpringiness and keep the softness, so I'll try it. I have ordered some white wool locks from two different types of sheep, so we'll see what happens...and so these little batts will get one more carding!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Mini Knitting Rant

So if you aren't interested in a knitting rant, then move along to the next blog. And those of you ready for a rant, please know that this isn't a big rant, but it is an annoyance to me all the same.

Is anyone left? OK here goes.

Yesterday I went to order some patterns (two sweater patterns and a sock pattern) from a Famous Indie Dyer's website (we'll refer to the company as FID from now on). I successfully completed the transaction so no complaints there But looking back on the entire transaction, a number of things have got my goat.

1. I saw one of the sweater patterns in a knitting magazine a while ago...I went to the website in mid-August and saw the pattern wasn't going to be available for a month. Here's the thing, FID. I was ready to buy it then, and you should have let me pre-ordered it so I could get it when it came out. Otherwise, I might not remember to come back to the site and buy it.
2. But obviously I did....because I saw a sock being knit on a Famous Knit Blogger's (FKB) website. I clicked on the link she provided, and ended up at FID's website. So oh, yeah, I'll buy some patterns. So I did. And after I bought them, I got the message: we will ship in 5-10 days. So two sub-rants here:
2a. Who sells paper patterns over the Internet anymore? Hello, FID? There's a new technology called PDFs available now.
2b. It should not take 5-10 days to put three patterns in an envelope and mail them to me. Now, I'm guessing this might apply to the yarn dyed by FID and it might take a while for that. But would it kill them to add '5-10 days for yarn and 2 days for patterns?' Would it?
3. One of the patterns calls for yarn that is not available yet. This doesn't bother me, because I rarely use the recommended yarn (see, for reference, my posts on my yarn wall for an explanation). But I know knitters that would prefer the recommended yarn. Again, why not allow for pre-order or such?

I don't know if this is a business that is growing that just doesn't get some of these customer service issues, or if the business is so popular that they can afford to annoy customers. And bottom line: I did buy stuff (although in retrospect, if I knew they weren't PDFs, I might not have purchased them. And if I knew they were printed but knew they would ship in 5-10 days, I definitely would not have purchased them).

OK. I feel better now.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Little Pink Sock

Originally uploaded by kbshee
This sock has been progressing (or should I say I have been progressing on this sock). The heel is turned, and now the 'ribbons' will run from the back to the front. It's a fun knit, a bit complicated but one that I can do while I watch selected television programs. :-). Not Project Runway and probably not Football, but we'll see tomorrow.

As in, Go Ducks!

The long weekend, the wrap up of summer, is here. We are laying low (lying low?) and taking things as they come. I think I'll probably start on carding another fleece too. What about you?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It is like Fall came over

Originally uploaded by kbshee
and threw a big old Fall blanket over us.

Here in Oregon.

Monday it rained (a pretty typical winter-like rain), and it has been overcast and humid since then. It sort of needs to rain, I think.

Sort of an odd way to end the summer, that is, having Fall come six weeks early. But it is what it is. At least the dogs aren't awake at the crack of dawn ready to start their days.

And I finished half the sweater, as you can see. I think you can tell where the neck opening is, and the long part on the left is a sleeve. Key words: I think. I really am not sure at this point.