Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two days=808 yards?

I have two days left in the month, two days to knit 808 yards to keep up with my 'mile a month' knitting goal. And.

I don't think I"m going to do it. Oh well.

The whole purpose of this year is to knit down stash. Which I'm done..and I have only bought one ball of yarn, and that was to replace a sock that I accidentally felted.

And I set the 'mile a month' sort of arbitrarily (it sounds good, no?).

And the month only has 28 days. If I had those 3 extra days...

But I'm almost done with a pair of socks (330 yards) and I used about half a ball of Cotton Ease on finishing up the baby sweater, so I'm about HALFWAY to the goal. So I'll call it a good month and move on to March.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just a sock

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Not much to say, except this is my current mindless sock.

Can I tell you, it is COLD here! Now, I lived in Chicago and in Boston for many years, so I KNOW COLD. But after 3 years in Tennessee and a dozen years here I completely forget what cold is. In Oregon in winter, we can count on a small handful of below-freezing days.

Today it was in the 30s, and WINDY and cold. I wore a hat. A warm hat. And a down jacket. And gloves.

Although the guy in front of me at the grocery store wore shorts.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Knitting

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I don't do a lot of baby knitting. I've knitted a couple of hats and a sweater. Maybe it is because I don't know a lot of babies!

But friends, baby knitting is fun! It is fast! It is tiny and cute! So I wish I knew more babies. Babies,if you're out there and want something knitted, tweet me!

Anyway, one of my former doctoral students is having a baby next month, so I'm knitting this cute little red cardigan all in one piece. Here you see the back (on the left), one half of the front (on the right) and the sleeves. I put the cute little heart buttons on the back but you can't see them, so I'll take a picture later (Joy and Dale are having a little girl named Isabella, so I'm putting little hearts on the sweater to make it girly).

The yarn is "old" cotton ease from the stash. Cherry red. But you could tell that!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend summary

1. <* Rain and a bit of icy stuff and some sun and then some drizzle.> Repeat from *.
2. "The Metropolis Affair". Kind of good but kind of draggy. If you like opera go ahead and give it a read.
3. Walk in the arboretum with dogs and Tim. Juneau happy to be out in the fresh air!
4. Started "The 25th Hour" but stopped after about one hour. We just weren't into it.
5. Episode 1 of "Luther" instead.
6. Copyediting.
7. Reading grad projects.
8. FINALLY figuring out what my spring term class is going to be about.
9. Knitting a baby gift and a sock.
10."Why not say what happened: a memoir" by Ivana Lowell. Crazy Irish aristocracy throughout the ages. Can't quite figure out what compells one to write a memoir but glad they do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank you socks

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I finished these socks for our vet, although I haven't seen her yet to give them to her. They turned out nicely, and I hope she'll like them.

We've had a good week. Juneau had bloodwork on Tuesday and the results show that some of her counts are up. And there is some indication that she's making some new red blood cells. So we may be moving to some sort of remission for a bit. She seems happy and with a bit more energy, although she is still a very tired girl.

We are over our colds but the tired-ness still remains. It's a busy time at school--week 7 out of 10, with all the associated craziness to get stuff done before finals week and the end of the term.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Struggles with rushrushrush

We had some not bad news from the vet. Juneau's recent bloodwork shows a little bit of positive movement. She's still in bad shape, but this is the first indication that something (anything) is working.

Life has changed. It is different then when Cody was sick...back then we bounced from the lowest lows to a relatively normal life several times. It was hard, but hope was always there. Now I find myself awake for an hour at night listening to Juneau breathe, and wondering if each breath will be her last. And happy when it isn't. We take slow walks around the park and I push that rushrushrush mentality out of my head and just watch her enjoying each slow, labored step. This whole thing has really caused me to slow take a bit of time and scratch a puppy's ear, enjoy a moment of silence, and just be.

It's so easy for me to get into that rushrushrush frame of mind, and I've learned these last few weeks that is really isn't helpful. Rushing didn't get anyone anywhere. Rushing has us ignore simple pleasures and alienates us from those we love. I'm not proud that it took my sweet pup getting fatally ill for me to learn this, but at least I've learned it while I've still had some time with her. And it shows that Juneau will leave this part of her with me when she goes, and so will always be with me as I struggle against rushrushrush.

Sorry for the abnormal post. Obviously things are on my mind and it is great to have a place to sort them all out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review of Spring IK

The arrival of a new Interweave Knits is generally a time for whoopin' and hollerin' at my house. Usually the knitting boards are busy posting previews of the new issue, and anticipation builds. So I was kind of surprised when I opened the mailbox yesterday and there was Spring IK. No previews, so chatter, at least that I saw. And then I remembered, it was the Spring issue.

Historically, the Spring IK and I do not really see eye-to-eye.

I'm not a big spring and summer knitter: I'm not thrilled about knitting with cotton yarns, and oftentimes spring and summer patterns end up more in the 'halter' category than in the 'tasteful top' category. So it was with some trepidation that I looked at the magazine, and, for better or worse, it did not disappoint.

The Good: Well, there are 22 patterns, so on a cost per pattern basis this is a good deal. Of these 22, there are 2 that I might...might...consider knitting. I haven't knit with linen yarn but I might consider this one if I ever buy yarn again. In the twee named "Mod*u*lar" section there's a Hexagon Petal Tee with interesting construction in a gorgeous color, and that might be one for me to knit this spring. It has pretty finishing around the edges and looks like it might be flattering on a lot of different body types.

The Bad: It worries me when a magazine photograph makes a pattern looks unflattering. If they can't make it look good for the magazine, there is no way it is going to look good on me. I like some of the photographs of the Leaf and Picot cardigan but when I look at it full on I think it looks awful. I like the pattern around the yoke in the Heliotropic Pullover but it looks like a big bag on this model. And of course, readers of my blog will know how I feel about the 'shirt under a spring top' styling (hint: I don't like it). I love entrelac, and at first got excited about the Curvy Squares Tee but the more I look at it, the more it just looks sloppy. Really, IK? This is the best you can show us?

The Ugly: But nothing, my friends, nothing takes the cake like the The Lara Bubble Top. At first I was excited by the pretty detailing around the yoke, but look at the hip area. Look at it! Oh, how I wish I could post the schematic, because on the smallest size, that sucker is 54" around. On the size I would wear, it is 73" around. And if you're a bigger person, the last thing you want is all that fabric around your hip area. What were they thinking with this one? Who would wear it? Where, as Nina Garcia would say, is the taste level?

I'm sorry to be mean, but I am incredibly disappointed with this issue. And there's still Summer to come before back to the safety of fall.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too tired for a clever title

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I was toying with 'do you felt me" or "I felt like it" or something like that but I'm at the tail end of a head cold so nothing sounds right to me right now. Tim has had this same cold since last Saturday, and I picked it up Monday night. We both slept for ten hours last night which helped a bit. Juneau is still with us, her will to live is amazing but we see her slipping away a bit every day. So one thing about having colds is that we've been home a lot, still enjoying time with her.

My football knitting projects were felted clogs, and I finished the pair last weekend (and that certainly made a nice bump in my knitting total). The soles are Cascade 220 and the tops are Malabrigo.

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I felted them this afternoon and they are still a little big (after almost two hours in the washing machine...yay front loaders!). But I really like the way the malabrigo blended to get all watercolor looking while the black soles and trim set it off so well.

They are air drying right now, only because I'm too lazy to get the laundry out of the dryer and put the clogs in there. But, the dryer might take care of that final inch I need to shrink them down.

Happiest of Birthdays today to my dear twinnie Kim and may many more cupcake filled days be yours.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

That time of year

Tim has had a horrible cold since Saturday.
Monday, Pilot got into the cat box AND the cat food bag, and he got sick.
Monday night I woke up in the middle of the night with a scratchy throat.
And Juneau is just plain tired.

We're all spending a lot of time on sofas, staring into space or snoring lightly. Hope you are doing so too.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

My Kniterversary

Originally uploaded by kbshee
I started knitting on Super Bowl Sunday, 2004.

Well, I knew how to knit before that, but it didn't really stick. I remember in 2004 just DECIDING I wanted to knit and went to Michael's and bought a 'learn to knit' kit that had a pattern for a homespun scarf knit in garter stitch. Some pattern! Anyway, that's when I started (apparently I had little interest in the teams) and I created something with huge holes in it but I found a passion.

So 7 years later, here I am. I certainly am a good knitter, but not a great knitter. In my good column: I can knit a sock without a pattern, I'm not afraid to try new things, I've made a lace shawl. In the not-great column: I still can't set in a sleeve, in fact that whole 'finishing' aspect to a sweater is not my strong suit, and I'm one of those people that won't rip back, unless the error is really awful.

I think that might make me a process, not a product, knitter.

But it has been a great seven years. Knitting has stretched me creatively and personally, and has allowed me to make some good friends both in person and on line, and I'm looking forward to what's next in the knitting world.

Interestingly, my SIL Candace called last night and we're planning a meet-up at Sock Summit in July. Who wants to come?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Thank you socks

Originally uploaded by kbshee
As you might know, I rarely knit for other people other than my wonderful husband. Other members of my family have been less than, well, enthusiastic about knitting things I've given them, so that has sort of put me off.

I'm making these socks...just basic, nice kind of thick socks, for our wonderful vet. We really appreciate her...we have her email and her cell phone numbers and she always encourages us to get in touch with her when we need to. We do our best not to abuse that privilege. She has also been with us for the passing of all our dogs, and we rely on her to help us know when to make some tough decisions.

How do you thank an incredible vet? We've made donations to the animal shelter in her name a few times, but we wanted to do something more personal. So I asked her if she would like a pair of hand knitted socks, and she seemed delighted. These colors seem like her: bright, yet earthy.

Tim is going to give her a pot, as well.

Juneau still hangs in there, with a huge will to live, but she's a bit like a tire with a tiny prick in it, and she leaks a bit of energy out every day. She had a final appointment at the vet hospital at OSU yesterday, and the vets there gave us some chemo drugs to give her at home (under the skin). The tests yesterdays showed the chemo hasn't worked, so this is our last try to see if we can get something working.

But she's comfortable and still enjoys a good cookie, so we're looking forward to another weekend with her.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

One day at a time

Juneau is still with us. We're both trying to balance our work needs with her needs and we're doing pretty well at it, though I find that I can't really concentrate for a long time on, well, anything.

Like this blog post.

Are you watching Portlandia? It is so funny...and so very much like Eugene!

Put a bird on it!