Knitting for my Bebe

December 13, 2014

Dragon HoodDragon Hood from sideOr rather, knitting completed and rejected by my baby.  I did have one success this year, her “rainbow” hat as she calls it, and she still does like her sparkly hat from last year.  I was inspired to make these dinosaur hoods, as they are so adorable, and Fia does love dinosaurs, especially the MEAT eating ones.  This is the toddler size, and it is small so I have given it away.  I am re-making the pattern in the child size, as it seems I no longer have a toddler but a child.  Which shouldn’t come as a surprise with how fast she runs, no toddling around here.  This is Lion Brand Thick and quick, and I have to admit a fondness for it even though it is acrylic.  The hoods are fun and quick to make.  The same designer has a bear hood that is very popular at the moment that I may attempt next.  I don’t think Fia will wear that, so I may just be making it to give away.

I also made her what I would consider to be a very cool skeleton vest, which she has refused even to try on.  Sigh.  I am torn between keeping this to see if she will wear it in the future, and just giving it away to some deserving child.  Such a cool pattern, it is a free Bernat pattern.  Normally I would be trying to make Fia something for Christmas and her birthday, but this year I am throwing in the towel.  I will wait to make her things when she can ask for them first, which will prevent me from making things she never even puts on.  Of course there is a skirt pattern that looks very cute, and she may like that, or a poncho?  I was thinking of getting her to pick the yarn.  She has interesting tastes, gravitating towards blue, black and white.  Note the shirt she is wearing in the dinosaur photos, grey, and she loves that one.

The advent calendar was a hit, but too much of a hit.  She has been waking up every day at 4:45 am.  I have been exhausted all week from the early wake-up time.  I am really looking forward to the little break over Christmas, I feel like I get really run down this time of year.  So tired.  Later gators.

Skeleton vest

FO: Fernie Hat

December 2, 2014

Fernie hatI finished up my Fernie hat ahead of deadline (who am I?) and wore it out last Sunday, even getting this nifty photo.  It isn’t often a selfie works out, but I like this one.  Mr. J says it looks like I’m up to something, to which I replied “aren’t I always?”.  That hat came out large, so let’s just call it “slouchy” shall we?  The circumference is good, and if I roll the brim up the top will fit as well.  And if I really pull it up by the pom-pom I look like Marge Simpson.  A win all around I say.  The mohair goat yarn is so soft, and non-scratchy on my forehead.  Most wools scratch my skin.  I am busy using up the second ball of yarn in a matching cowl, basically the hat pattern but ribbing instead of decreases to leave it open.  I want something snug around my chin when it gets cold.

Advent CalendarWe started our advent calendar on Sunday night, and so far it is going well.  I started gluing the numbers on the grab bags during Fia’s bathtime, and once she came down and immediately started gluing them on herself I wished I had made this an activity during the day.  She loves gluing things on things it seems.  I had thought the numbers were stickers, but they were not.  Sigh, can’t count on the Dollar Store for anything these days.  I just used the cloth pins I bought to pin the bags to our horizontal (ugly) blinds.  We were talking about hanging a string up, but this was so much easier and it is working well.  Little hands and paws can’t get them easily!  I put decorations in each bag, and the bags divisible by 3 have candy canes in them.  So far Fia is very excited and enjoying the routine of opening a bag each morning.  We talk about how many days left until Christmas, and I think it is helping her visualize it.  Can you see which bag Fia really, really helped with?

Fernie hat in progressSince my last WIP report, I have managed to make good progress on that pile of projects.  I have also managed to cast on 2 new things!  For good reasons of course.  My blue sweater is done except for the sewing (this weekend promise) and one sock is complete, the next one on the needles already.  The hat at left is my Alberta project for the Canada KAL, and I need to get it done this month, hence the casting on!  This is a double Alberta dip, yarn from Spring Harvest Farm, from mohair goats.  This is an all time favorite yarn of mine, so soft and warm.  I had thought this blue was flat, but once I wound it into a ball and knit with it, it has turned out to be the most beautiful sapphire blue.  The pattern is the Fernie Hat from Cowtown Knits, a Calgary designer.  She has some nice mitts using this pattern that I can’t wait until they are released.  My other project that I cast on was a Carly sweater, as I needed something that was just plain stocking stitch to keep me busy when my brain is numb with tiredness.

WIP for Nov 2014I have a large number of WIP, four of which are pictured in this photo.  There is another one in the basement, but we will pretend that one isn’t there for now.  One sweater, one shawl, one pair of socks, and slippers.  I really, really, want to cast on something new, but instead I am working through these WIP’s.  I may cast on something new soon as I will need a simple project to work on, but I am promising myself that I will keep working on these as my main projects.  I am so extremely good.

Finished nutbrown hareThe Nutbrown Hare pattern is originally done in a brown yarn, which is very cute, as brown and babies is a good combination.  I didn’t have any brown yarn, but I did have green, and green is also a good colour for new little babies.

Now Mr. J and I do not like the Nutbrown Hare book, even though we read it very regularly.  It is essentially a big rabbit, whose relationship to the younger rabbit is undefined, one-upping the young rabbit.  No matter what the young rabbit says, the big rabbit always has to say something better and have the last word.  What a bully, and generally unpleasant authority figure.  The poor little rabbit is sure to grow up lacking confidence, and frustrated.  Of course for those of you who have also read Watership Down, the fact that rabbits are unpleasant should come as no surprise.  Here in Calgary we are overrun with large hares, which are currently half brown half white. Mr. J and I are terrified of those bloodthirsty cute little things.

Musings on Work Conditions

November 7, 2014

Last night I read the “Red Sky” document created by the workers at the famous Canadian radio show that is embroiled in a scandal involving their host at the moment.  Reading over their complaints, I was shocked to realize that it sounded like almost every place I have ever worked at.  It is a new generations cry of disaffection at working in an old style work place.

Today I am remembering fondly my job in Salt Lake City, where my boss delayed my raise by months, and punished me extensively for reporting all the problems we experienced in the field.  He said I was “making” work by pointing out problems, as now someone had to go and fix them.  A co-worker sent me a kind e-mail telling me not to argue with the boss, as you know, the boss is always right.  This is of course the product that they do not make anymore due to too many problems which went unfixed over and over and over and over.  Sigh, if only someone had told them about the problems the first time they happened!

As for work/life balance, that is an extremely common problem when working for old style establishments.  The atmosphere when you work for workaholics is that you should never miss a day, never be sick, come in early and stay late.  Do whatever it takes to get the job done, work outside your job description regularly complete the task, and travel whenever and wherever they need you instantly.  If you do not do this, or refuse, you are always judged and found wanting.

Here is the silver lining: I just called this an old style establishment.  And yeah, I still work for one of these, but they are changing, as they HAVE to change.  They have to change because no one is standing for this type of work place anymore.  Once people have a choice of where to work, they leave and find some place they do feel comfortable.  Plus the people most used to working in and are imposing this type of atmosphere are retiring.

I am the generation in between the two.  I have had to deal with the old style, and I am embracing the new style.  I am pushing out the old style as fast as I can.  Wish me luck that I can do it soon.

Ontario in the Summertime

November 2, 2014

Opas barnOur “vacation” to Ontario was a few months ago now, and I still haven’t shown any photos from it.  This was our every two years, visit all the relatives trip which is filled with stress, travel, rain, cold, and a few small blips of fun.  I really enjoyed seeing my friends, and Aunties.  Our weekend in the countryside was unfortunately rainy and cold.  A small girl did not get the promised tractor ride, but she did get to meet a doggy

and bird.  We had to go into a store to buy me warmer clothes, and she got a now favorite pink unicorn, so it wasn’t all bad.  The rain made Opa’s barn look very pretty indeed.  While Mr. J and Fia were visiting Oma in Toronto I got down to the Beach to visit my Auntie, which was great except for the traffic.  The second day was very special, I had a lot planned.  I started out by visiting the Ontario Art Gallery, which I have not been to since it was renovated.  Very worth the visit with sinuous wood architecture, and excellent examples of my favorite Group of Seven and Emily Carr paintings.  I relaxed sitting alone in the gallery staring at the landscapes.  Then onto lunch with a friend I have not seen since Grade Seven. We last saw each other before our lives had really started, and there we were, within squinting distance of middle age.  Too much life for one little lunch, but it was a start.  And what a lunch, the best bento box I’ve ever had.  I LOVED it.  I think my favorite lunches are now many small things to taste, but not so much of anything that your tummy hurts.

OceanaThen I saw off to the best yarn store I know of: Romni Wools.  I have been going here since I was a teenager and it never disappoints.  I delightfully looked through the warren of bargain basements, and the floor to ceiling shelves up top.  It is now run by the son of the original owner, who is very, very charming.  I spent a long, long time trying to decide between colours of Mad Tosh.  Button jar blue or robins egg?  Suddenly Oceana won, and jumped into my hands to my surprise.

Sherbert STRThen it was off to Lettuce Knits for more fun.  I settled on a nice bright skein of STR in Sherbert.  Not sure what this will be, but anything baby would be perfect.

This filled up my suitcase, and used up my budget, and it was time to head back to my friend’s house.  This, my one free day, was well spent, relaxing, and memorable.  Toronto is a great city to eat in, we had some memorable meals, and coffee breaks.  That part, that part of the vacation was very good!

FO: Teal Bud Shawl

October 31, 2014

Teal bud shawlThis shawl was knit as part of a local knit along – which was a good motivation to get it done in one month!  The theme is Canadian provinces, this was knit as a part of the BC theme.  The pattern is Rosebud Shawl from Tin Can Knits, based in Vancouver.  The yarn is the heavenly Royal Alpaca that I bought last year when a local store closed down.

 

Close up 3I think this was done on time as it was a fun, engrossing knit.  Shawls made from DK yarn knit up fast, are big, and oh so warm.  I see myself getting a lot of use from this shawl this winter.  The lace pattern was fun, and I find the resulting pattern very pretty.  I love the teal colour.

Berry from frontThis sweater was my attempt to use up some cotton/silk yarn in a quick project.  I didn’t really succeed, as the yarn and pattern are not a perfect fit, and the sweater is not a perfect fit.  The top button band pulls and gapes, and isn’t all that attractive.  At first the top of the sweater was too tight, but after I washed it in the machine it got better.  Normally I just handwash my sweaters, but this one got thrown in the machine out of frustration.  It worked.  The berry stitch pattern is supposed to open up and be more flexible, which didn’t really work with this yarn.  None the less, I did get a good length, and the buttons are very nice.

Berry from backAlso, the colour is nice, I really like the colour.  I think I will wear it to work today.  I reminded people at work yesterday that if you think of work like a reality show, things are much funnier than annoying.  One co-worker even practiced ripping up sheets of paper and throwing them, which was excellent for our drama quotient.  After all it everyone gets along, and crap doesn’t happen, it would be bad for our ratings right?

Sept 29 2014 003This will be the last single skein September project, I can’t believe October is almost upon us.  I’ve made Anja’s hat close to 4 times now, I really like the brim, which you can’t really see in this photo, but it is there, and it is nice.  I took 18 stitches out of the adult size to make this a kids size, but I kept the brim full size so it is nice and full.  The yarn is called Cake from Western Sky Knits, very lovely stuff and a colourway that makes me so happy.  Just enough yarn left over to make a little pom-pom!

It is so hard to get photos of this little non-stop kid, these were all she would “sit still” for, by which I mean I barely snapped the photo while she ran around.  Last weekend she bumped her face on the pavement while playing with her red car.  She has a scratch on and under her nose.  Her teacher told me Fia said she got the scratch by “fighting with a shark, and she had won”.

Sept 29 2014 004

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