Saturday, December 31, 2011

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

IMG_4102 by kbshee
IMG_4102, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

If you're anything like our family, you're curling up with a knitting magazine and taking a wee winter's nap.

It's always a marathon at our house--will we make it til midnight? At what time can we start getting ready for bed? How crummy will we feel tomorrow? Etcetera etcetera.

Tim is making dim sum tonight...I'm sure there will be pot stickers and spring rolls. Probably some Shwetty Ball ice cream or perhaps some vanilla with Fermat Branca sauce. And cookies cookies cookies, so that sugar buzz should keep us going til about 10:30 or so.

We'll be having a "Downton Abbey" marathon--we have four episodes left on Netflix and we also have a bunch of 'The Wire" so we'll be entertained.

It's been a tough year, but as Tim was mentioning on our walk this morning, it all ended up well. We're all alive and relatively happy, healthy and sane, and we're looking forward to the next chapter of our lives unfolding in 2012.

Resolutions? I'll steal from this morning's "Mutts" comic and say to "Be Here Now"--to spend more time in the present and less time wallowing about the past and worrying about the future. We'll see how that works out.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vogue Knitting Winter 11/2


I'm confused. Wasn't I just mocking the VK with Martha Stewart on the cover? Well, apparently VK took all the crappy patterns laying around the VK Design Studio and plopped them all in this issue, entitled "Knits You'll Live In". OK...it's not 100% crappy. There's actually...

The Good: 37 patterns for $6.99, plus pictures of a lot of free glove patterns downloadable at VK.com . Probably my favorite part, these free patterns. I like a long cable cardigan (#9)and a relaxed pullover (#11).Some pretty accessories in purple (ok, a pair of mittens).

The Bad: The "Knit Living" section has many, many pillow patterns AND a pattern for a knit ottoman (ain't happening here). I'm not a fan of knit skirts, so hoorah, 5 knit skirt patterns! And two pairs of purple socks are ruined (for me) with drop stitch techniques. Honey, if I see a drop stitch in a sock, I've screwed up.

The Ugly: Oh, the ugliness. There's a section called Urban Rednewal (not a typo, RED newal) which are capes and ponchos knit in red yarn. I'm sorry, VK, but a pretty color does not make up for ugly cape poncho things. Then, there's an "eye catching split sleeve effect" cape that makes no sense at all.

But wait. There's more.

Two, count 'em, two turbans. Turbans. Tur. Bans. True, they are positioned as "vintage chic" but who who who would wear these?

Enjoy??

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sheepish

IMG_4101 by kbshee
IMG_4101, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

We have a tradition where Tim and I make at least one gift for one another for Christmas. This year it was quite the festival of homemadeness, as Tim made some lovely jewelry for me (pics to come) and I made him two knitted gifts.

You may recognize Shaun the Sheep, who is quite the popular one in our house. This came from a kit with lovely chenille yarn from England. Shaun came along with a Shaun the Sheep Christmas DVD. Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Well then.

Christmas came and went, a good few days: a lovely dinner Christmas Eve night followed by "White Christmas", presents in the morning and an afternoon of phone calls, dog walks and cooking (Tim) on Christmas day and then Boxing Day with our friends Steve and Jen and their two kids.

The only knitting type gift was sheep salt and pepper shakers (which will turn up on the blog header, thanks C and B!) and Tim made some beautiful celtic inspired jewelry for me. That was a wonderful surprise. Also, ZUMBA! And finger paints. Because I am six.

Tim goes back to work today and I'll just sort of hang. I started REAMDE last night and it's pretty good--it's also a gazillion pages long but it moves pretty fast. Knitting too--not a lot has been done but I promise to post pictures this week.

Enjoy the last few days of the year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter's Eve

IMG_4099 by kbshee
IMG_4099, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

I love on Christmas Eve how the world seems to screech on its brakes and everything slows to a stop until around noon tomorrow.

I've been working on these socks for a few weeks--they take a while as I'm adding the beads one at a time as I knit. It's Sivia Harding's Winter's Eve pattern from the STR sock club from a gazillion years ago. The yarn is Wollmeise. I had put together the pattern, the yarn and the beads in a project bag and then, um, sort of misplaced it. But I found it again and am loving these socks. The beads are a bit big but I can deal.

Have a beautiful Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Did I post this?

IMG_4094 by kbshee
IMG_4094, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

I can't remember.

Candy cane socks, completed.

Anyway--knitting continues, although I don't have the patience to finish the fair isle hood. Maybe I'll work on it during football next week. We'll see. I've been finishing up my syllabi for next term (new class! new graduate class! ARGH!) and now that the syllabus is done I better start on the reading, which is pretty heavy. Double argh!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GRYFFINDORRRRRRR

IMG_4096 by kbshee
IMG_4096, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

You need to roar it like the Sorting Hat.

Anyway, it is Christmas so I'm reading a Harry Potter book (#4, my all-time favorite...what's yours?) and knitting on Harry Potter inspired socks. These are Gryffindor socks from Sunshine yarn's Harry Potter sock club in, um, 2007.

Yep.

The yarn has been around for a while.

Basic sock pattern, good repeats, quick knit, bound for Tim.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Knits Accessories Review


As much as I disliked "Jane Austen Knits", it's all good after several perusals of "Knits Accessories", also published by IK. Here are my thoughts:

1. 42 patterns for $14.99. That's something like 40 cents a pattern. Given that accessories patterns bought on Rav are $4-5, even if I knit only 10% of the stuff in this issue then I'll be ahead.

2. And I'm going to knit a lot more than 4. The issue has 4 shawls, 6 socks, 8 women's hats, 11 scarves/cowls, 5 guy's hats, and 4 mitten and glove patterns. And there's good stuff.

3. Even though I don't like lace, I may knit the Trousseau wrap because I have the perfect purple laceweight Wollmeise in the stash.

4.I'm probably going to cast on the Meridian socks this week, and want to do the thrummed slipped called "Highland Slippers".

5. I love the Copenhagen Hat.

6. Readers of my blog know I'm not crazy about cowls. But likely, there are only a few (and even one I like--the Tilt Cowl) along with the Two Ribs Infinity scarf which I think is great.

7. It's too bad there are only four glove/mitten patterns, because I'm going to knit them all.

8. One thing I really like about this magazine is that the designers use yarns that aren't break-the-bank expensive. Sure there are some high end yarnchoices, but there's also stuff made with Brown Sheep Bulky, Cascade 128, Lion Brand, Paton's and Plymouth. I really appreciate that--it makes it easy to mix and match from the stash when many projects use 'workhorse' yarns.

So there you have it. I like this magazine a lot. Could you tell?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Jane Austen Knits


I love Jane Austen. I love knitting. So you'd think I'd love Jane Austen Knits, right?

Well, you would be wrong. It is a beautiful magazine but not just for me. Here's a few thoughts:

1. The cover price is $14.99--a bit pricier than many other publications. You get 36 pattens so I guess that's a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, there are a lot of patterns that I have no interest in knitting. Tea Cozies. Reticules (twee little purses). Capelets, shawl and lacy neckwear. If you like any of these things, this magazine may be for you.

2. Many of the sweaters are either shrugs or spencers. A spencer is a sweater that ends right under the bust, which is pretty typical in Austen's era. I don't think this is a flattering look on many people, and when I read a spencer described as 'flattering' (next to a not flattering picture) I got a little annoyed.

3. There are lots of articles speculating on whether Jane Austen knit and if she did, what she might knit and what she knit those things out of. If you are interested in this type of things, there's a great book called "What Jane Austen ate and Charles Dickens knew" whihc is much more interesting.

4. A few things I did like: "An Aran for Frederick" in a great cable pattern and the "Marianne Dashwood Stockings" are pretty neat looking. But that's about it for me.

Tomorrow I'll share my review of "Knits Accessories" which is much cheerier.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Hexipuff

IMG_4092 by kbshee
IMG_4092, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

Here's #25, knit in the candycane sock yarn that I've been working on (finished the socks, yes I did).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Candy Cane Sock

IMG_4086 by kbshee
IMG_4086, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

Not much to say: a basic sock made with a 'second' of Socks that Rock. Very festive!

Friday, December 09, 2011

No excuses

IMG_4084 by kbshee
IMG_4084, a photo by kbshee on Flickr.

Sorry for the blog silence...I have no good reason other than, to be perfectly honest, I just didn't feel like blogging.

It's been a weird end of the term. The University's President was unceremoniously fired at the end of November. I'm on the committee that meets with him weekly to 'advise' him, although he's taught me more than I had advice for him. So it has been a very hard struggle for me to deal with this, to run the committee and to try to help the University stay focused and upbeat and committed given the loss. On top of that was the end of the term and the panic to get stuff done that always comes with that. And so here I am, back again!

I have been knitting. This was my therapy: the anemone hat by Cat Bordhi. Boy, I wish I had this one while I was still in my ten mile mode---it eats up lots and lots of yarn with the little tendrils. It's a couple hundred yards in Malabrigo Merino, any soft worsted will work. There's also an option for a mobius brim, if you are a fan of Cat's mobius.

And now the run til Christmas. Our presents are pretty much on their way to where they need to be, and we have decorating and cookies to accomplish. And cards. But all will be done in good time.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Sorry for the Silence

It's been a bit stressful, with the end of the term and the President of the UO getting fired this week. But knitting pretties to come. I have to say I love that I don't have to worry about yard counts!