Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yet another pair


IMG_3523.JPG
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


IMG_3521.JPG
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:
http://subliminalrabbit.blogspot.com/2008/12/bellas-mittens-updated-pattern.html

Love them!

Friday, November 26, 2010

IK=OK

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

Thanksful


IMG_3516.JPG
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.


IMG_3514.JPG
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.


IMG_3512.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee
Tim took me in to school...it 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 impressive..by 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


IMG_3511.JPG
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...


IMG_3508.JPG
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


IMG_3507.JPG
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


IMG_3505.JPG
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


IMG_3503.JPG
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


IMG_3502.JPG
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


IMG_3499.JPG
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!


IMG_3498.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee
I love this day...an 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 book...it'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

Before


IMG_3494.JPG
Originally uploaded by kbshee


After

IMG_3495.JPG
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...


IMG_3485.JPG
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!